Tonight I ran across a book on my youngest child’s bookshelf. She has outgrown picture books and is reading chapter books now. I am sorting books and deciding which ones should stay on the shelf, which ones I’d like to put up for future grandchildren, and which ones I’ll be donating. This book will be staying on the shelf. The title is, “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.
I remember the first time I ever read the words, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” and choked back the tears. My oldest child was a baby and a friend showed me the book “Love You Forever.” I shared it with friends after that, daring them to read it without crying.
Twenty-five years ago, reading “Love You Forever” for the first time, I did not analyze what it was about the book that caused my tears. I believe I probably wept at the thought of my baby growing up and leaving home. Tonight though, as I held that book, I had far more insight and a considerably larger amount of experience than I had the first time I read those words. I thought long and hard about my children, who they used to be and who they have become. Tonight, sitting in the floor of my daughter’s bedroom, I was looking back, not just forward. Twenty-five years ago, it was very hard to picture the man my baby boy would someday be. It happened though. We blink and they are grown. Four of my children are young adults who I am very proud of, but I do miss the babies they once were. Three of my kids now live in another state. The drive to put the ladder up to their windows each night so I can sneak into their rooms is becoming harder and harder to manage.
Munsch did a great job of depicting a parent’s tenderness for their child at all stages of life, during both serene moments and tumultuous ones. Although Munsch’s book was published in 1986, the whole concept of “you’ll always be my baby” and “I’ll always be here for you” is not a new one for moms and dads. I imagine that concept could be traced all the way back to the very first mother and her children.
|Tate and Sydney|
If you liked this post, you might also like one entitled, "Don't Blink."
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