A Library Card for a Penguin?


Mackie announced yesterday that he wanted to head to the “Public Library”.  Dad did not get home from work in time and with all the snow we had to wait until today.  A snow day after 12 inches of snow fell and Mac was ready to go by 4:00 am.  But penguins and boys have to wait until its light out for our big trip to the library. Snow cannot stop a penguin and his boy from getting their books and treasures from the library. Penguins love snow and so does our boy.

Mac wobbled up the stairs and picked out is own clothes for the very first time.  I may not want to go look at what shape his armoire is left in.  But Mac had actually managed to put on his own shirt, granted it was backwards, but his arms were not all twisted in the sleeves as per usual I am trying to learn days.  The little boy that could just keeps trying and they said he would never, ever be able to dress himself as his arms and hands seldom cooperate with his movement disorder.

He sat me down on the stool at my computer and said “Mommy we need to chat.”  I listened as he told me that he wanted to get the Disney Playhouse CD again and a Veggie Tale sing along cd and that Furry wants to get Dr. Seuss “Put Me In the Zoo”.  We got Mackie’s Library card out of my wallet and he said Furry needed one to get his book.

I suggested to Mac that he could check out Furry’s book.  That was a no go.  Furry needs his own he announces.  Earlier this year he met his class at the library for the big day for the second graders to get their official library cards.  He said “Furry didn’t get one and he felt left out.”  I said penguins do not get library cards.  Mac replied, “Furry is a citizen and the public library is for everybody.  He lives in Lancaster and goes to school like everybody else.”  Mac had a good argument.

Talking with a couple of friends, I was encouraged to call the library and explain.  Yes living in a small community and having a Furry Booksigning and being a local author and Doctor Dad works in our community hospitals, maybe just maybe we won’t look too crazy with this suggestion? Taking a deep breath, I called in and explained.  There was no hesitation, and everything was set for Mac and Furry’s request at the library.

Mac put on his own boots, which is quite a feat.  He struggles to put on his jacket and I had to get it right side up.  And after trying for 10 minutes to get those “darn mittens” on, he asked for help.   With his little penguin backpack  on his back for our adventure to the library on this snowy day.

Arriving at the library he honed in on his favorite cd-shelf and he leafed through the cd’s to find Veggie Tales and I helped find the favorite Disney Playhouse CD while he was singing in his monotone voice, the theme song from Imagination Movers while the elderly lady smiled at his antics.  I reminded Mac that we are quiet in the library while Furry meeped in agreement and Mac said he forgot. Struggling to find the Doctor Seuss books, I encouraged him to head to the desk to ask for assistance.  Mackie made me proud as he went up to the librarian and asked ever so politely for assistance.  Not too bad for the boy who cannot talk somedays.   The library did not have his book, but the kind librarian told Mac they would order it in for Furry and will call him next week when the book arrives. We searched the book aisles and Mac helped Furry pick out another to read for this week.

We stopped at the kids activity tables and I couldn’t believe that they had a make a purple penguin activity.  Cut papers rectangles and glue sticks awaited the assembly of make a penguin.  Of course, Mackie wasn’t sure about the fact it was a purple penguin?  Penguins are not purple, don’t they know anything?  He struggled with the scissors and asked for help to cut the pieces for him to assemble.  Furry sat watching as fuzzy penguin fur and glue do not go together!

With Mac’s and Furry’s prized picks, off to  the desk and Mac and Furry went.  Mac politely asked for Furry to apply for his own library card.  Furry with Mac’s help hand over wing signed with Mom’s assistance the signature line and Furry  has his own official library card just like everybody else.  Inclusion… Acceptance… and a wish for a friend.  Mac checked out his cd’s and off to home we went to spend the afternoon listening to the theme songs from his favorites.  The sisters, remarked “Are we going to have to listen to this for how long?”  Until next week when the CD’s return to the library.  The sisters, said good thing for noise blocking headphones!


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Mac told me that he listens to his stories and Furry has eyes to read them.  Mackie loves the library and he is empowered to read, listen and hear his stories.  Mac struggles to see, but he finds his ways to “see” our world a glimpse at a time all the while moving his body to position it to see.  20 eye diagnoses is not going to stop him from finding a way.  Mac is empowered with his buddy Furry at his side and with a little encouragement from Mom and his friend, the world is opening up for our boy with triple autism, a chromosomal duplication, a genetic disorder, 110 diagnoses and the former foster child that they said would never ever do this or that, or sometimes we wondered if he would survive. But for Mac he is unstoppable.

Today rules can be accommodated to make a little boy and his penguin pal be included.

Thank you to the Schreiner Memorial Library in Lancaster, Wisconsin for today’s miracle and the library card for an Emotional Support Penguin named Furry and for  opening the door for more adventures with Furry.  Today was the first of many more library adventures for Mackie and a place that welcomes him and his companion with encouragement and accommodation.

The Little Town That Would did it again.

Mackie’s Mom

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