Luckily my children have no real idea of what "time" is. 20 minutes to them could be 20 hours. But they do posses an innate sense of when some things are supposed to happen, things even out of our daily routine. Each month we head to the library and take home a pretty sizable stack and place them on two special shelves in Mateo's room. They don't necessarily notice when the books disappear four weeks later to be returned, but about three weeks after our last trip they both begin to ask, "When are we going back to the library?" So we go, and they tear down the hallway, and I run after them whispering loudly to be quiet.It takes them less than a minute for them to pluck a book out of the stacks and plop down on the floor and begin devouring book after book. They probably look at over 50 before they decide which ones they want to take home.
We can spend hours there, but usually one is all we need. Some books are hits, some end up duds, but it's the ritual of the trip, I think, that means the most to them. To me, it's always interesting to see what catches their interests, from car and train books to superheroes, monsters, and science. After we've selected our stack, we always talk about what it means to borrow something and treat it with care, and that soon we'll be back to fill our two shelves again. And like clockwork I know they'll be tugging at my clothes again with that same familiar request.