Why We All Should Have The Chance To Hate (Love) Shakespeare

Updated: Jun 24

A version of this article was originally posted on Beth’s blog, Grace In The Ordinary.

By Beth Foraker


When Patrick was in kindergarten we needed some sort of incentive that he was willing to work for. We needed a pay out. Since I didn’t want an obese child, the pay out couldn’t be candy. Who am I kidding, Patrick is not candy focused, he’s all about the carb. He, for sure, would have worked for a fresh baguette every day but I just couldn’t do that.


So we brainstormed and perseverated and finally landed on the library. Patrick and I could go to the library every day after school if he had a happy face day. Oh, those happy face days! That meant that Patrick had listened, worked hard and kept it together. It also meant that he came in from recess on his own — a true trial for Patrick — since he couldn’t distinguish when his time was up. If he saw anyone on the playground, he thought it was his time to play too.


At first, going to the library was a big deal. We celebrated! We cheered. We did the happy dance. And then we waltzed right in and Patrick spent a delicious amount of time l-i-n-g-e-r-i-n-g over the videos and DVD’s, like a guy named Patrick at a bakery filled with croissants and baguettes and other sourdough options.


He relished the moment. He perused and paused and savored so many choices. The library was his spot.


Like all favorite memories, the library still makes him happy but it’s no longer something he works for. His happy face days are the norm now. The library is just a pit stop on our way to the park…or a place to go to directly if there’s research for a school project involved.


And so yesterday I casually suggested that we go to the library while Caroline had basketball practice. Since he is still known for his slow pace of perusal, I was a bit worried we might be cutting it too close. But we gave it a try.


Like a salmon finding its place to spawn, without thought, he honed himself straight into the kids’ section and started the monumental task of choosing a video. It only took about 5 minutes and we were done. He had nothing.


“So, what do you think?” I asked. “I need the computer.” he replied. so causal…so big


He gets on the computer and types in his item: Macbeth.

He finds all sorts of options but zeroes in on a Macbeth video in the adult section…we repeat the call numbers to ourselves over and over as we cross through the library. We find the Shakespeare section and attempt to locate the video. Nothing. My mind: tick tock, tick tock I suggest that we can put in a request for it and he agrees. We walk right up and talk to the librarian who happens to be a young guy — note to self: when did that happen??