Everywhere I go, I carry my library card. It weighs only around 5 grams. It measures 8.5 cm and it's only about a millimeter thick. It's made of smooth white discolored plastic and is covered in tape and cracks because it's 11 years old. My library card is tucked away in my wallet, in its little pouch, and I haul it around throughout my day at school or when I go to the movies or whenever I get the chance to go to the library.
I remember the day I got my library card. You were right there with me. We walked into the Lemon Grove Library, much like we did almost everyday. You marched right up to the counter and told the librarian that I was going to get my library card today. The librarian peered down at me over her librarian's glasses, as though she almost couldn't see me because I was so meager. She said that I had to be able to write my name in order to get my library card.
You knew that. We had been practicing for weeks.
You urged me along with your quiet patience, although it must have been frustrating to teach someone one of the most simple things-writing their own name.
So, you assured the librarian that I could write my name, and the librarian lectured me that the books I checked out on my library card would be my responsibility. She was skeptical of the responsibility of a four-year old, but you weren't. You knew I could handle responsibility even at a young age, and you still do today.
At last, came the moment we had both been long awaiting, the librarian handed me the library card and pointed out where I should write my name, then gave me a pen. You always tell me that your heart stopped beating as I put the pen to paper and saw me write the first letter-so awkward that I crossed it out and carefully scrawled a new one, then the next letter, painstakingly the third letter, and so I carried on until my name-or at least some chicken scratch that resembled my name-was there on the card, right above the words I agreed to:
"By using this card the holder agrees to all conditions under which it was issued."
The librarian, who was least partially in awe of my ability to write, placed some tape down over my signature to secure my ownership, then passed the card to me. I promptly placed it in my Minnie Mouse purse then darted to the stacks to pick out my first book.
To this day, I carry my library card with me not only because I may want to borrow some books from the library, but also because my library card is a symbol of how your gentle guidance and infinite love molded me into the person I am today.
You are the one who instilled in me a love for literature and a love for learning. It is to you, my mother, my Memu, that I attribute my success as a student and as a person. With your support, I have gotten to where I am today, and with your support, I plan to go much further.
Thank you Mom.
Proud Library Card Holder