“I’ll love you forever…”

We lost power the other night for about an hour (smack dab in the middle of Survivor!) and, when it came back, I reset my clock about 20 minutes ahead of real people time.  This got me up earlier than usual today, just me and the cats wandering around the house as the sun rises and creates a misty steamy sensation as all the water from a storm last night starts to evaporate.

But here’s what I got to see that I haven’t in a while: my baby sleeping.  One of my favorite books to read to the girls is one with an impossibly simple name and which my not-yet-caffienated brain seems to have stowed very deep.  Probably “I love you forever” and if I knew the author, I’d Google it.  It’s a terribly old book, one my mother gave me from her collection when she retired from her gig as an Early Ed teacher/Director of college child care center.  It tells the story of a mother who goes in to rock her baby, after he is really, really asleep, and sings him this song: “I’ll love you forever/I’ll like you for always/As long as I’m living/My baby you’ll be.” (the title of the book–can’t remember; the song and the tune I made up to sing to them–stuck in this spongy old brain of mine.)

Well, this mother does this as her child turns two, then nine, then 16, then she drives to his house, climbs in his window, and rocks her adult son, singing this song. Then he has a baby and does the same for his child, then goes to his mother’s house and sings the same song only “My mama you’ll be” while holding her on his lap and rocking her in a rocking chair.

It’s a silly little book that always made me cry…and makes me cry as I type right now (have I said what an easy cry I am?).  So implausable, so ridiculous.

And yet, as I peeked into my eight-year-old baby’s room, all I could see was her beautiful apple-shaped face, framed by her arm stretched out around it. And all I wanted to do was hold her, rock her, and sing “I’ll love you forever….”

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About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at www.tinalbporter.com. And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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13 Responses to “I’ll love you forever…”

  1. jadddeeeed says:

    Yea, it is a tragedy of humanity. When I was little my big sister used to cradle me and rock me to sleep and sing this to me- now we’re estranged.

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  2. evangelina says:

    i read this book when i was in first or second grade, right after i could master the skill of reading. it was the nicest book i had ever read in my life. after a while i forgot about it, and then occasionally i would remember it and think about it. i remember asking many people if they remember a book with a little boy on the floor by a toilet in a messy bathroom and explaining the beautiful mother-son relationship that i had read about as a curious child. now, at seventeen, i stumbled among the last quote of the book and immediately recognized it from somewhere familiar. i searched google and came across this site. i am very excited to learn what the title is and who the author is and now i only need to go out and purchase it. it is truly a life changing book and i can only hope that if i have children in the future that they will enjoy it as much as i do. it has a lot of sentimental value. i am sure many of you can understand.

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  3. Jacquelyn says:

    This is a special book, more than you will ever know: My daughter, now 20, recited it to me in an e-mail a several months ago. Now she has chosen to seperate herself from my life and I am devistated. This book was left at my office by a co-worker for a client to pick up… I saw it and broke into tears.. Crying now as I write this. Mothers and Fathers, hold your babies as long as you can, you never know when that will no longer be possibe.

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  4. lindsey says:

    i still love this story
    and im 16 now
    so thats pretty amazing
    im listening to the author read it right now.
    =]

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  5. Ross Brown says:

    The wonderful tragedy of humanity. We live, we love, we die…..

    Isn’t it a bummer that the leaders, the power hungry, the egoists & the war pigs can’t accept this and enjoy the world, life and all it’s diversity

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  6. How very sweet!!

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  7. Becky =) says:

    my mom always sang this song to me when i was a little girl. And now , i have no children of my own , but im a babysitter. and each time i put a young child to sleep i always sing the song “Ill love you forever , i’ll like you for always , as long as im living, my baby you’ll be.” its a beautiful book that can always bring tears to your eyes .

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  8. Karen says:

    Your post made me cry… May I borrow this book?

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  9. Suz says:

    What a sweet story to share. I hope that some day, when your girls are older, they will appreciate your memories.

    ~Suz~

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  10. kaleigh says:

    Makes me cry, too. I got the book as a baby shower gift, and talk about a time to cry hard….8 months pregnant with my first kid….I was a basket case. But, in all fairness, it doesn’t take much to get my tear factory going anyway, pregnant or not.

    I love to watch my kids sleep. I try to get upstairs to wake them up a minute or two earlier than I need to just so I can enjoy the quiet and stare at them. I can still see a little bit of the baby in each of them when they’re sleeping.

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  11. uuMomma says:

    Thanks, LE! Of course he’s a Unitarian. And it’s so funny, my reaction to the book at first was: well, that’s weird. And then I cried. Thanks for the link…and the name!

    MsKitty: funny….”cheap ploy.” It works!

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  12. Lizard Eater says:

    “Love You Forever” is a popular book to bash right now. “It’s creepy! The Mom’s a stalker!” but I love it. It’s written by Robert Munsch. Unitarian!

    Here’s a great link that includes the history of the story:

    http://www.unitarianscalgary.org/downloads/Theology_of_Robert_Munsch_Kiely_2004_04_04.pdf

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  13. mskitty says:

    I love that book too and always cry. I often have used it as the children’s story on Mother’s Day, which is kind of a cheap ploy to get people softened up before the sermon, but nobody seems to mind. My son is now that adult man and I would love to rock him like I once did. But of course his manly dignity is at stake at age 34, so I guess I’ll have to wait until I’m too old to be refused!

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