Love You Forever

The above titled book, written by Robert Munsch, is a favourite of my kids. I hadn’t grown up with Robert Munschs’s books, so I was not familiar with his work. One day one of the kids brought it home from first grade, as a reading assignment. Every night we had to read at least one book to our first grader. In our house, reading has always been a thrill, and not done just for homework.

Anyhow, we snuggled up on the sofa, kids big and small, to read the latest assignment. I started reading,

“A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:

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

The mother in me was thinking what a sweet book, what a great message of unconditional love.

I carried on reading, feeling myself pulled in to the story, really relating to the subject matter. By the time we were close to the end, tears were streaming down my face. I remember sitting there on the sofa long after the books were all read and the kids all put to bed. I had never thought a children’s book could touch me quite so deeply.

That was maybe six years ago, and I have since bought a copy of the book to keep at home and have read it to the kids more times than I can remember. One child waits to see at what point in the story I will start crying, and feels the need to point it out to me “Ima, you are crying again”. (accompanied by much eye rolling!). The youngest waits for the “I’ll love you forever” part, and loves to sing along with us.

On further investigation I learned that Mr Munsch wrote this book after the tragic stillbirth of two of his children in 1979 and 1980. Apparently the little song took shape inside his head, and was his private song to his lost babies. Eventually the story in the book grew around the refrain. Once I found this out, the tears would flow even at the beginning of reading the story.

It’s interesting to note that many families have their own tune to “I’ll love you forever…” Tonight we found a clip of Mr Munsch reading the story (or I should say, telling the story, for he doesn’t follow word for word) and we got to hear how he hears the song in his head. (You can go here to download the mp3 file )

We have become huge Robert Munsch fans, but this book will be a favourite forever.

Read to your kids, they will blossom and thrive so much more. Give them the gift of words.

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1 Comment

  1. David says:

    Hi there, I mistakenly commented for this post on your previous posting about unconditional bonbons!

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