Every other Thursday afternoon I work in the school library. Naturally, it's the time when Riley's class visits and last year I did the same duty. It has been an opportunity for me to observe him outside of our usual settings and it has been very good for me. Last year I worked with another woman, this year I am going it alone and I have been called upon to do things I hadn't before when I could relax a little and let the other woman with years of experience take care of the trickier tasks while I stuck to the mundane. Yesterday one of the grade 1 boys asked me for a book his friend had taken out previously. He didn't have the title, just a few scanty details such as it was about monsters, maybe Frankenstein and it had something 3-D in it. Often these requests for searches are phrased like, "it has a pink cover and it's about princesses", or "it's a book with scary stories". Not the most salient facts to enter into the computer's search engine. But yesterday I found that book about monsters (293 entries in the search results) and it did have a picture of Frankenstein on the cover and a sticker that said "3-D" for some things that were on the inside. I don't know who was happier, me or Matisse, the boy who had asked for it. He actually came back to the library later that day to thank me. The second class that comes through during my tour of duty is a 4th grade class and there is one boy who is, shall we say - "challenging". In fact he challenges all I say or help him with. And up until yesterday I dreaded seeing him come through the door. But yesterday he was checking out a book about origami and we got to talking about that and the beautiful paper and the kinds of things he made and I saw a whole different side to him, the side that is just another human being excited about his craft, delighting in beauty and thrilled to talk with someone who wanted to hear what he had to say and how he felt. And I did feel like a hero and it felt good.