My friend, Marianne, meets kids from all over the world in her job as head librarian in the Children's Department. And you never know what these kids will say.
One of my Muslim boys approached our reference desk, leaned over and
said to me, "Ms. B, can I tell you a secret?"
"That depends on what
the secret is. Sometimes, I am bound to tell it. Be very careful what
you want to confide in me."
"Ms. B, it's okay. I want you to call me
by my real name, Jeffrey."
"Jeffrey? Your name isn't Jeffrey."
"Is not! I know your real name, and it's not Jeffrey."
I want you to call me Jeffrey and not tell anybody. They
Megan overheard this and asked, "How can Ms. B call
you Jeffrey and no one will know about it? If she calls you Jeffrey,
everyone will know, right?"
"Ms. B, I want you to call me Jeffrey.
It will be our secret. No one will know."
"Why do you want to be called
" Because I like that name. I like Jeff. Yeah, I want that
"What name is on your library card?"
"I don't have a library
card. My brother uses his for me. So when my mom comes in to sign the
paper for the library card, she won't know I put Jeffrey down because
she can't read English. Then I will be Jeffrey! Please, Ms. B, call
me Jeffrey. Call me Jeff. I want you to call me Jeff."
"Well, how about
Ms. Megan, then? Is she supposed to call you Jeff, too?"
"No, Ms. B,
only you. Only you can call me Jeffrey or Jeff. It will be our secret!"
Someone obviously wants my undivided attention!