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The “S” Word

April 6, 2011

Before I put Henry down for a nap today, he wanted to read the book Love You Forever.

Have you read this book? By Robert Munsch, it is one of the most emotionally manipulative pieces of literature in all time. It is the Sophie’s Choice of children’s books.

Here is the basic concept:

A mom has a new baby, and she rocks is very slowly, and this is the refrain:

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

The kid grows up, and becomes a smelly, loud, typical p-i-t-a, and but the mom keeps sneaking in to hold and rock her little boy and sings him the refrain.

I am tearing up while writing this. What is my problem?

And then, the little boy is a grown man, and she sneaks into his room at night to rock him.

And then she gets old and frail, and he rocks her, and tells her that she’ll always be his mommy, and, good lord, it’s even more worse, cryingwise, than the opening sequence of the damn Lion King. Every time Henry picks Love You Forever to read, he ends up smearing tears all over my face like finger paint all over a page.

This highly-charged emotional state is enhanced by the fact that he’s starting “school” next week. It’s an itty bitty fake non-academic cooperative playschool, run by parents and a teacher. For 9 hours a week, his main activities will be eating homemade playdough and gluing googly eyes to pom poms, or more likely, to his own hands. Still, the fact that we’re throwing around the “s” word makes me feel like something weighty is sitting on my chest. It makes me feel like he is going to college. It makes me feel like I’m co-signing a lease for him to get his own apartment.

It’s all a bit too much. I need to rehydrate, and fast.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    April 6, 2011 12:50 pm

    The list of books to be avoided seemed to get longer and longer as the kids grew up. Don’t even pick up anything with Edward Tulane in the title. Weep-fest!!

    It is hard to see them go off on their own, isn’t it? And then it is such a surprising pleasure to be proud of their independence.

    Some friends here were involved in the British boarding school system. As in, they were sent to boarding school at age SEVEN. Can you imagine? We talk about it all the time.

  2. Alana permalink
    April 6, 2011 12:52 pm

    Awww… all my best to you next week. Will look forward to hearing about Henry’s first day!

  3. jennifer permalink
    April 10, 2011 9:38 pm

    I cannot read that book without crying. Zoie and tristan will sing the “I’ll love you forever” lines to me. I made my godmother (really my true mom) read it to them over the summer, and she couldn’t finish the book she was crying so hard… Yay for eating play dough! Caitlin made it, so at least it will be home made! 🙂

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