I Love You Forever

I Love You Forever.

You know this book, right?

(source: amazon.com)

It’s one of my all time favorite children’s books. I remember my parents reading it to me when I was a little girl and I remember them tearing up. I even used an excerpt of this book for part of my graduation speech from high school.  (I was an overachiever and got to make a speech.)

For the longest time, I could not read this book to my son without sobbing. It has been safely hiding in my son’s closet for a while now, awaiting a time when someone could read it without crying.

Recently, my son rediscovered it stacked on the shelf in his closet.

“I want to read this one, Mommy!”

I smiled and was apprehensive; the tears were inevitable.

Except this time, I had the gift of reading to a three year old.

We could not get through a  page without a question.

“Mommy, why is he making such a mess?”

“Mommy, why is he hanging upside down on the couch?”

“Mommy why is that mommy crawling on the floor?”

“Mommy why did he grow up?”

“But why did he move to another house Mommy?”

“Mommy I will live with you when I am a grown up man and when I am a little boy.”

“But Mommy, if I get a grown up house do you want to come to my grown up man house?”

“Yeah! You can come there, Mommy!”

The key to getting through this book, is to read it with a three year old. Talk about the messy house. Talk about the Mommy crawling on the floor. Interrupt the flow of the sentimental book by talking to your child about grown up man houses. Be a little sentimental and honored that you were invited to come over. Avoid getting emotional because there is one part of the story where the mommy drives across town and breaks into her son’s house to cuddle him…when he is an adult. It’s not really as sweet as it is creepy. Focus on the creepy part to avoid the tears.

And then of course, redirect your attention to the most important part of the book,

“Look at the kitty Mommy!”

“Why did that kitty get big?”

“Look another kitty!”

“What’s that kitty doing?”

It’s a very sweet book. And it’s message will always make me cry. But reading it with a 3 year old and realizing that having someone break into your house to cuddle you in the middle of the night is weird, will help you get through it.

You are dying to read it now aren’t you? I would love to hear your take on it.