My family’s evening routine is pretty much the same every night.
- After dinner, I take the dog on a walk while my wife wrangles the kids into their pajamas and they brush their teeth.
- There’s usually a bit of play time before we announce that bedtime is imminent.
- The girls are allowed to pick out some books to bring to bed.
- We tell them to hurry up, because they are taking forever in picking out their books.
- Finally, it is time for a last call potty break and then they go to their bedroom.
- If there is somehow still time left before bedtime, we read them a story of their choosing.
It’s a good routine, and most nights it goes pretty well. And when there is still time to read a book with them (we read a lot of books at other times than just bedtime, for those of you who care about such things) before bedtime, it is a special treat.
But the other night, one of the girls insisted on reading Love You Forever, which is a bit of a creepy book. It is about a mother’s love for her child, which is expressed by entering the child’s room as he sleeps, scooping him up and rocking him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and singing: I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.
And that is super innocent and cute when done to a baby or a toddler, but this mom doesn’t stop there. She repeats the ritual as the boy becomes a teenager, and even drives across town to crawl across the floor of her fully grown son’s house to rock him (a grown man) and sing her song.
Fortunately, it goes back to heartwarming after that, but for a few pages, the book is a bit terrifying.
I read over here that the story came from a song that Robert Munsch wrote for his stillborn children. So now I feel like a jerk by looking down on a man who wasn’t even able to hold his living children when he wrote the song that became this book. And to be honest, it is pretty hard not to get choked up by the end of the book. As a parent, I can sympathize with not wanting to let go of my kids, to always be ready with a snuggle and a song, regardless of distance or age.
But I don’t know. It’s still a little creepy, I think.
What do you think about the book?