We found the Real Library, on Friday.  It has seven floors, and every single one is full of books.  It was so great.  The librarians were so happy to see us.  When I asked where the nonfiction kids’ books were, they got all excited and told me that the more nonfiction I check out, the more they get to keep.  I guess there’s a thinning process happening, based on what’s getting checked out and what’s moldering on the shelves.  The rejects are already contracted to be sold to a nonprofit.  I asked.  If we didn’t have to walk 2 miles home with all our books, we would have filled our 50 book quota with ease.

As we were planning this trip, my 10yo said, “Do you think the librarians will be black people?  I hope they are.  Black people are way nicer.”  This is something the kids and I picked up on almost immediately about African-American culture in Atlanta.  It seems to place a high value on family.  Every single time we’ve felt in someone’s way or I’ve been reminded to keep my kids out of perceived danger, it was with a white person.  African-Americans don’t see a problem when we walk by, they see a reminder of their kids, their cousins, their siblings, etc., and they generally want to talk about it, or just offer congratulations and support.  It makes all of us feel so good!  This was the longest walk that we’ve taken, here, but it was much more pleasant, because half the city thought we were celebrities.  Lots of people talked to the kids to tell them how great they are, people would ask us if we needed help when I would stop and look at my phone to figure out if we were still on the right path.  The people working at the library were so incredibly helpful and anxious to get us all the materials we could dream of, that it was a full hour from when I walked in the door, until I had time to respond to a text from my husband.

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Next week, when we take the walk again, I’ll get some pictures of the city.  It’s crazy huge and busy.  We walked right past (or through) the America Mart, which feels like another planet, with all the sky bridges connecting these massive buildings.  The kids weren’t fazed at all.  They asked if we can walk those bridges sometime, but I was the one oohing and ahhing at all the sky scrapers.  They were more interested in the dolphin statues on the sidewalks.  Is that a sports team, or something?

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We also passed by some gorgeous churches that the kids are anxious to see inside, as well as the Historic Academy of Medicine, and the Biltmore.  There’s an endless supply of things to see and visit, here.  Even if we’re visiting sites 4 days a week, I doubt we’ll see them all in 6 months.

 

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