So last night I heard some rustling and murmuring coming from the direction of my nine-year-olds room. It was 10:37 pm, so right off, I am annoyed that I hear anything besides peaceful breathing. He’s been in bed for two hours – he should be asleep.
I march down the hall and see a gangly silhouette pulling itself up onto the bed it should have already been sound asleep in. Oh, that reminds me, I have to let him know that he lost 5 minutes of computer time for being out of his bed for a reason other than using the bathroom or some other sort of emergency.
“What on earth are you doing?! Why are you not asleep?”
“You know that new library book I got tonight? Well it has this ‘MV’ sticker on it and it wouldn’t come off.”
“What! That is a library book!! You cannot take anything off of the book or put anything on the book! We don’t OWN it! It is NOT OURS!!”
“We must bring the book back in the same condition that we borrowed it. I thought I told you this already! What are you thinking? Now lay down and don’t get up again until morning.”
“I said, lay down. Put your legs out flat under your covers. Head on your pillow. If I see you up again or hear anything from you, I am coming with the spanking spoon.”
“Now what did I say about the library books? We are not to put anything on them or take anything off of them. They are not ours, we are just borrowing them. We must return them in the same condition that we borrowed them. Good night.”
Thankfully I did not hear a peep or see even a shadow. He really is too old to spank, but I couldn’t think of anything else on the fly at quarter to eleven pm.
Then I realized, I probably hadn’t told him that he wasn’t allowed to add to or take something from a library book. We have been going to the library since he was a toddler and he was usually quite gentle with books, so I guess I didn’t ever give him the whole, “be careful with library books,” shpiel.
I had told him several weeks ago to stop ripping out the metal embedded stickers that the library puts in the books. However, since he has Asperger’s Syndrome like me, he didn’t generalize that to mean, “don’t rip anything off of a library book.” Oops, I should have known better. Well, he has the message now.
Later this morning I was thinking how the Earth is a bit like a library book. God gave the Earth to us to use and enjoy, just like authors write books to be read. And like a library book, the Earth is not ours to have, but just to borrow during our time here. Finally, we are to leave the Earth in the shape that it was when we started borrowing it.
That is not easy, just like it is not always easy to return a library book, especially a child’s book, in as good of shape as when it was first borrowed. But let’s all at least try.