Thursday, March 1, 2012

Good tears at bedtime

My children are pretty well grown up now and yet we can all still recite the 'chorus' to Robert Munsch's 'Love You Forever'.  When we do there isn't a dry eye in the house.  Infact, even as I write this I can feel my throat catching and a kind of bittersweet feeling in my heart.

I love all of Robert Munsch's books but this book tells the sweetest story of all - the mystical and eternal legacy of love from parent to child.  At the start of the story the mother rocks her baby to sleep with the words:
I'll love you for ever, 
I'll like you for always, 
As long as I'm living 
My baby you'll be.  

She continues to recite this to him throughout the many stages of his life and when the boy grows up and become a father himself, he carries the tradition on with his newborn daughter.

I discovered many years later that Munsch wrote this book after he and his wife had experience two stillbirths.  He explains that this little song was what he sang to his dead babies, although he couldn't sing it aloud because whenever he tried it made him cry.  Now I understand why whenever we read it, whenever we talked about it to others and recommended it to another family, our hearts would ache and our voices catch as we tried to hold back the tears.  

This book is written from the heart.

The most tender moment comes at the end when the mother is weak and frail and, no longer able to take her son on her lap and hug him, he travels across town, gathers her up on to his lap and sings:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
My mother you'll be.

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1 comment:

Vicki N said...

Thanks for sharing this. I've never heard it before, but am typing through tears now.