I can’t stand that book, “I’ll Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch. Even though it’s a classic, and one that’s given to many new moms, it’s one I cannot read. I used to try to read it to Andrew because he loved the little boy on the cover. So, every night I’d try. I never could get past a few pages. I’d start crying. I’d hold it together for a few more pages, then I’d have to stop. I’d be in full blown cry mode. Andrew would think this was hysterically funny and die laughing. He had no idea why I would always cry while reading that particular book.

As he grew older and learned to read, he’d grab the book and start reading it out loud.  Very, very out loud.  He’d chase me around the house reading it and laughing, and I’d always turn around and chase him so he would stop reading. We’d both end up laughing, but I never could get the book away from him.

He’d always ask, “Why do you cry when you read THAT book?” I’d always say, “Because you’re my baby boy, and I love you more than life itself.”  He’d reply, “That should make you happy, not sad,” and I’d always say “I AM happy, that’s why I’m crying.”  He never got it, and I was never able to explain what I meant.

The other day, I found the book on his bookshelf.  I tried to read it, and even though I was by myself, I still couldn’t finish it. There are too many emotions. In a couple of pages, I’m feeling my “mama bear” love for him. There’s also pain in knowing his dad and I couldn’t stay together, and that Andrew will become one of the “bad kid” statistics. There’s the intense fear I have– that somehow I’ll screw him up and he won’t love me. I wonder if I made the wrong choice and he’s paying the price? Deep thoughts. Crazy thoughts. Too much for me to think about in one sitting. That’s why I can’t read that book. And, I don’t have to.

I put the book back on the shelf, and made sure it was hidden behind all the others. No need to see it. I know, and he knows, I’ll love him forever.


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