This post comes from Adrian’s blog — Slow Dance Journal — about the beginning of The Front Porch Library.
I’ll start this blog about LIFE with something that happens every Sunday around here: cupcakes. Sunday cupcakes are part of my justification for owning two houses, ours and what used to be my Dad’s. These modest homes would be Baltic and Mediterranean Ave. on the Monopoly board—the two cheapest properties. Still, two houses? But when my dad died I didn’t have the heart to sell his place. I needed to be able to walk into his old house and say “Good morning, Dad!”
I thought that if I used the house for the Greater Good I could keep it. So my neighbors and I created The Front Porch Library. I thought it was about putting books into kids’ hands. It turned out to be about all the things that happen when kids, who normally appear as quick flashes as they ride bicycles around the block, walk through your door and you get to know them.
Today the library will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. Although the cupcakes will be the most popular part of library time, I bet I’ll read aloud, and kids will draw on the long roll of fax paper we keep for that purpose, and the girls will get huffy with each other and need to be reminded to “be nice,” and I will closely watch the brother and sister whose father recently died and try to guess how they are doing.
While she is at the library, one of my girl’s homes will be visited by her brother’s parole officer.
A group of three cousins, all neatly dressed, will arrive together. These three come from families that are distressingly poor in both money and education. All three are struggling readers, but good kids.
Sometimes I feel like a starry-eyed do-gooder standing in the wind tunnel of my kids’ difficult lives, holding out a tray of cupcakes. But cupcakes, books, and adult attention are what I have to offer.
And the cupcakes are always good. Going out the door at the end of library hours, A’Miracle will say, “Can I take one of those cupcakes home for my mom? She likes cupcakes.”