And I’m trying really hard, after what happened to our dear Little Free Library yesterday.
Well, the actual evil took place before that…
Monday afternoon, I got the dreaded “unexpected visitor at the door.” Being a true introvert, rather than answering the doorbell I hid upstairs and spied from a front window. I saw a mom-type person looking at our LFL. Kind of wondered why she’d come to the door, but as I was having a cozy day of hiding from the world, I didn’t investigate.
Flash forward to yesterday afternoon. When I reached into the mailbox for the day’s mail, I discovered a hand-written note.
Next came rage and disgusted texts to the rest of the family, who commiserated quite satsifactorily and suggested I call our police non-emergency number. An hour later, Cody the Cute Policeman knocked on the door, looked at the damage, took the report, and gave me his card.
After supper The Husband went out with a screwdriver and box knife to pry the latch off. My hero.
But…there’s still an aftermath of rage. Why? Who? What the hell is wrong with people? Who hates the idea of sharing books that much? Was it just one of the stupid masses of middle schoolers who pass by every day? I’ve caught them in other vandalism acts before. Kids who are that horrid just blow my mind.
It’s not like I’m all “Sheesh – kids these days” or anything. I work with kids that age regularly, and they’re almost universally delightful. And I know that even good kids, especially when they get caught up with a group, can do really stupid things. But this had all the appearance of malice and premeditation. How does a kid get like that? What kind of family turns out kids like that? (I know the answers to those questions, really – I’ve worked with those families. I’m just ranting here.)
Or, alternately, was it some adult with a grudge? The Husband asked me if I’ve had any inflammatory literature in the library recently. I do scan it for inappopriate books, and I haven’t even had to remove any vomitous “Christian” fiction or religious tracts recently. Yes, we do occasionally get Jehova’s Witness crap in there, and literature so obviously intended to proselytize that I have no problem tossing it. So I’m ruling out a pissed off religious nut (though that’s a good guess here in the crazy land of Kansas).
I think it’s the not knowing that bothers me the most. The anonymous, unknowable hate.
Continuing to ask those questions, continuing to rant and rage, will only make it worse.
And so I’ll force myself to “accentuate the positive.” Like that very sweet note left in our mailbox. Like the families who stop to choose books and thank us for hosting the library. Like the neighbor kids who check regularly for new finds.
That’s the only way to move forward.