There’s a strange radar that comes with being a children’s librarian–that of being able to spot a child looking for a parent they can’t see. There’s a change in body language, a hesitancy. Occasionally the radar malfunctions and the child has already melted into tears but often that first quiet “Mommy?” or slightly fearful look sets off alarm bells ringing. Usually parent/sibling/relative is just down one of the non-fiction aisles, out of direct line of sight but not really that far away. But sometimes I’ve had quite the stroll around the building in search of “Patron Age 5’s Adult.”
But we go to search, which is faster and less scary than making them wait while we page the whole building. Generally, the child is okay with walking in the general vicinity of me (the “safe adult”) to see if we can’t find their grown-up, but sometimes they’ll hang back a few feet, just out of reach. They’re willing to check down the chapter book aisles in my wake but I’m still a strange adult.
Chalk it up to one of those things you get crowned with alongside “knowing everything” on graduating with the MLS. :-p