We've been going to the library on an almost weekly basis since Bennett could walk and talk. I signed us up for a Wee Read storytime when he was just 9 months old (And saved his nametag from it. Oh, the things you do with your firstborn!!).
As the years have progressed, there have been seasons where its been really easy and fun and seasons where its been hard and and slightly stressful. We never do storytimes anymore. But we keep going.
There was the time when Bennett was just barely three years old. He was recently potty-trained. I was at the library with him and baby Dawson and my three year old niece, Piper. Well, Bennett had an accident. I took him into the bathroom and stripped off his wet pants. I was standing there, wracking my brain, wondering what in the world to do and how the heck to get my naked child back out to the van without too much embarrassment (since of course I didn't have any extra clothes or diapers with me. I've never been that mom. That mom we're all thankful we're friends with when we run out of wipes/diapers/snacks/you-name-it.) Bennett and Piper are giggling at Bennett's nakedness and then they TAKE OFF. These two three year olds, one who's white little hiney is out in all its glory, laughing hysterically, bolt through the library towards the front door. I frantically grab Dawson and the stroller and the pile of wet clothes and speed walk/run after them, trying (with utter failure) to ignore all of those stern librarian eyes burning into me, wondering what sort of heathen children I'm raising and why in heaven's name I would dream of bringing them into their quiet sanctuary of a library. I have never experienced humiliation like that in my life. I seriously thought, "I can never step foot inside that place ever again."
But then we did. And I just pretended like it never happened. And thankfully I didn't see any whispers and pointing fingers. I survived the mommy humiliation. (And I'm sure, for a while, I had an extra set of clothes with me.)
Right now, Channing's at the age where he's much more interested in pulling books off the shelves than reading them. (We try to leave him at home with Daddy whenever we can.) And sometimes my boys dump puzzles out faster than I can make them pick them up and pull every puppet off the rack and start playing tag between bookshelves and get way too loud reenacting a T-Rex/King-Kong battle with the puppets. And sometimes I'm super stressed out and grouchy with them when I'm trying to get all of our books checked out and get the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of there. But we still keep going back. And we still love it. And most of the time they can follow the rules and use library voices.
I had a friend ask me once, "How in the world do you do it? Taking my kids to the library is the most stressful thing I can imagine right now!"
I just get really good at ignoring judgmental glances. I'm only partly kidding. The thing is, I have wild boys. I have boys that are loud and run more often than they walk and who leave a trail of messes everywhere they go. But I also have three boys who love books. As active as they are, they will always sit still to be read to. And my six year old told me the other day that reading books is his "most favorite thing in the whole wide world". (But only because he momentarily forgot about video games).
Y'all, I'm not trying to make you feel bad if you never take your kids to the library. I suck at a lot of things. I constantly feel like I'm failing my kids in a whole lot of areas (Too much TV and not enough teaching of the Word, to name a few.) But I hope my kids always love to read. I hope they always get excited over a stack of new books. I hope they read so they can keep learning even when they're 30 and 40 and 50. Maybe they won't. I'm sure my mother-in-law read to my husband all the time when he was little and he hates to read now. But I will do my darndest (and risk further humiliation) to make it stick.