If I had a buck for every time I took out a children's book, only to find pages of it scribbled upon or shorn. More than once I've done my best tape job then handed back the book to the library with a sheepish "there's damage here but it wasn't my kid."
Well, a Toronto boy knows a thing about honesty being the best policy and respecting public property. His name is Jackson, by total coincidence. Even his writing looks like my son's, but alas, I can't take credit for the little guy who returned his book to the Main Street branch with the following hand-written note:
Ah, the feels. Even my husband thought it was my son and had to run the handwriting test past me.
"Obviously they loved [the book] and wanted others to be able to enjoy it," said the librarian Ella McLeish.
No wonder Jackson's note went viral.
Of course accidents do happen. As parents we can mitigate as much as possible by supervising toddlers with borrowed books (and hiding the crayon box!) and if that backfires, involving them in the repair. They could also donate new books to pay for damaged ones.
As a kid I suffered from sudden, violent nosebleeds. One such incident in elementary school saw the double-page spread of a school library book I was reading splattered, Tarantino style. I was beyond mortified. I worried sick about that book, and seriously thought I would be expelled.
These days I'm not sure many kids share Jackson's (or my younger self's) accountability, and that's unfortunate.
More of us would do with taking a note out of his parents' book by teaching our kids early on to look after public belongings as if they were their own.
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