I’ll Love You Forever

Three years ago this month, I attended a baby shower for one of my girlfriends. Many of the guests decided to jump start Baby Noah’s library, and we gave his mother a huge basket full of books. Honestly, I don’t remember what I contributed.

I do remember one unflashy Love You Foreverbook. It was called Love You Forever, and my friends gushed about it. Out of curiosity, I picked it up.

“Don’t read it!” They shrieked, practically in unison. “Not here! Everyone who reads that book cries. You won’t be able to read it without becoming a weepy mess.”

Wondering what all the fuss was about, I opened the book and skimmed the story.

“Seriously guys? This book is wacko. She breaks into his house?!? That’s creepy!” I made fun of the book, which I now realize was ridiculously rude.

I did not cry. I didn’t find it even remotely emotional.

I didn’t think about the book for nearly two years. Someone gave Grace a copy when she was still tiny, but it had paper pages, and I tucked it away in her closet, safe from busy fingers.

This evening, in between her bath and her bed, Grace and I curled up in her recliner to read. She loves to be read to, and we  read between one and two hours every single day. I first read one of my favorites, I Love You Stinky Face, but it proved to be an unwise choice for bedtime for a child currently prone to irrational fears. By the time we finished it, she was scared.

Next, I read our perennial favorite, Goodnight Moon, but Grace interrupted me to ask about monsters with one eye. (There’s a cyclops in Stinky Face.)

I went into the closet to look for books that would make Grace feel safe and secure and take her mind off of the monsters and alligators and aliens in Stinky Face.

The first book I spotted was Love You Forever, and I thought it would be perfect.

I read the first four pages with no problem. We talked about the baby and the boy and the pictures. I repeated the song again and again:

I’ll love you forever.
I’ll like you for always.
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.

No problem.

And then there was a problem.

A couple of tears rolled down my cheeks, and then a couple more.  I read the next page, where the boy becomes a grown up and moves out of his mother’s house, through hoards of tears.

Grace looked up at me, “What happened, Momma? What happened? Momma all right?”

That made it worse, though I did manage to squeak, “Yes, honey. Momma is all right.”

By the time I got to the phone call, I was thinking about my own Grandma, who’s in her eighties and having some worrisome medical issues. I thought about a day when I won’t be able to call her on the phone. I thought about a day when Grace will live without me.

I was sobbing. I cried as if someone had already died. I couldn’t read any more. I tried, but I couldn’t.

Poor Grace was upset and confused.

A half hour later, when she was settling down to go to sleep, she wouldn’t let go of my hand.

Even as I covered her and tried to pat her back, she held on tight. “No back, Momma. Hand.”

The first time I tried to pull my hand out of hers, it woke her. “Hand, Momma,” she whispered.

I put my hand back into hers and lied down next to her until she began to snore.

As long as she’s living, her Momma I’ll be.

© 2009 – 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. says

    How sweet! My husband came in the room and had to ask if I was okay because of my sad expression while reading this. Our babies grow up way too quickly! Thanks for sharing. Hope your grandma is feeling better!

    Stacy’s last blog post..Hot and Cold

  2. says

    How sweet! My husband came in the room and had to ask if I was okay because of my sad expression while reading this. Our babies grow up way too quickly! Thanks for sharing. Hope your grandma is feeling better!

    Stacy’s last blog post..Hot and Cold

  3. says

    I totally get it. Everything looks different from a mother’s eyes, doesn’t it?
    I sometimes cry when I read to my kids, and they totally make fun of me! ;)

  4. says

    I totally get it. Everything looks different from a mother’s eyes, doesn’t it?
    I sometimes cry when I read to my kids, and they totally make fun of me! ;)

  5. says

    LOVE YOU FOREVER IS A VERY DEAR BOOK TO ME AND MY NOW, ADULT CHILDREN. MY SON LOVED FOR ME TO READ THAT BOOK TO HIM. CHILDREN GROW UP WAY TO FAST AND EVEN TO THIS DAY MY 32 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER LOVES FOR ME TO READ TO HER. SHE HAS BATTLED CANCER FOUR TIMES SINCE THE AGE OF 11….WHEN YOU BATTLE FOR YOUR CHILDS LIFE AND YOU LIVE A DAY AT A TIME…THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU CRY. I THINK EVERY FAMILY SHOULD HAVE A COPY IN THEIR HOUSE BECAUSE THE NURSING HOMES ARE FULL OF MOTHERS’ THAT CHILDREN NEVER COME TO SEE.
    I ENJOY YOUR BLOG…HOPE YOU WILL VISIT MY BLOG…I HAVE ONLY BEEN BLOGGING SINCE JANUARY SO I AM STILL LEARNING. HAVE A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY
    HUGS
    debbie

  6. says

    LOVE YOU FOREVER IS A VERY DEAR BOOK TO ME AND MY NOW, ADULT CHILDREN. MY SON LOVED FOR ME TO READ THAT BOOK TO HIM. CHILDREN GROW UP WAY TO FAST AND EVEN TO THIS DAY MY 32 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER LOVES FOR ME TO READ TO HER. SHE HAS BATTLED CANCER FOUR TIMES SINCE THE AGE OF 11….WHEN YOU BATTLE FOR YOUR CHILDS LIFE AND YOU LIVE A DAY AT A TIME…THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU CRY. I THINK EVERY FAMILY SHOULD HAVE A COPY IN THEIR HOUSE BECAUSE THE NURSING HOMES ARE FULL OF MOTHERS’ THAT CHILDREN NEVER COME TO SEE.
    I ENJOY YOUR BLOG…HOPE YOU WILL VISIT MY BLOG…I HAVE ONLY BEEN BLOGGING SINCE JANUARY SO I AM STILL LEARNING. HAVE A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY
    HUGS
    debbie

  7. says

    I love that book. I taught school for 33 yrs, and read it to my class. I also gave it to my son when he went away to college.
    I know one sub who couldn’t read it or should I say ,wouldn’t read it , as she thought it was sad. The kids don’t read as much into it! :)

    Kathleen’s last blog post..White Foodie and Flashback Friday..

  8. says

    I love that book. I taught school for 33 yrs, and read it to my class. I also gave it to my son when he went away to college.
    I know one sub who couldn’t read it or should I say ,wouldn’t read it , as she thought it was sad. The kids don’t read as much into it! :)

    Kathleen’s last blog post..White Foodie and Flashback Friday..

  9. Kristen says

    I cry whenever I even think about that book…cry buckets when I read it. Now, I’m sitting hear bawling reading your post!

    Kristen’s last blog post..Dinner Club #4 Farm Fresh (Recipe Mojo Beef Kabobs)

  10. Kristen says

    I cry whenever I even think about that book…cry buckets when I read it. Now, I’m sitting hear bawling reading your post!

    Kristen’s last blog post..Dinner Club #4 Farm Fresh (Recipe Mojo Beef Kabobs)

  11. Taunya says

    This book always gets me! I too, used to read this book to my kids when they were little. My son is starting his second year in college and is homesick. This week at 8am every morning he has sent me a text message that simply says “I love you Momma” I replied back to him “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” He responded “My favorite book…I’ll love you for always!” Brought tears to my eyes!!!

  12. Taunya says

    This book always gets me! I too, used to read this book to my kids when they were little. My son is starting his second year in college and is homesick. This week at 8am every morning he has sent me a text message that simply says “I love you Momma” I replied back to him “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” He responded “My favorite book…I’ll love you for always!” Brought tears to my eyes!!!

  13. Cathy says

    I'm reading your post here at work and I have to say I'm teary eyed.
    My little baby is turning 2 years old in less than a month and I'm really emotional/sentimental these last couple of days.
    I'm going to look for this book to give to her for her birthday.

  14. says

    Grace's second birthday was so hard for me. I know what you're feeling.
    Grace loves reciting those poems all the time. We say it to each other, which makes the whole thing so much sweeter. “I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always…”

  15. Cathy says

    I'm reading your post here at work and I have to say I'm teary eyed.
    My little baby is turning 2 years old in less than a month and I'm really emotional/sentimental these last couple of days.
    I'm going to look for this book to give to her for her birthday.

  16. says

    Grace's second birthday was so hard for me. I know what you're feeling.
    Grace loves reciting those poems all the time. We say it to each other, which makes the whole thing so much sweeter. “I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always…”

  17. says

    This is my absolutely favorite kids book!! Now I just sing the song to my older kids. They actually read this during our Sunday service on Mother’s Day at church – not a dry eye!!

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