I choked up reading the kids a story last night. It was one of those ones I enjoyed as a child but understood as a parent.
“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
You know what book I’m talking about. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. The girls’ preschool teacher gave it to us, and I thought it would just be another book that the girls destroyed. A book where I had to pick up the pieces off of the floor. Well, the girls ended up picking up my pieces off of the floor. I basically sobbed through the entire book, while the girls gave me hugs and asked me if I was ok.
Have you read that book recently? I remember reading it countless times as a child, and I thought it was cute how the kid got into the toilet paper. That was the only image I remembered, but once I got to that page in the book, I remembered the rest. A mother who held her child, no matter his age. And then a mother too sick, so her child held her.
I was a mess. The words came out as squeaks and whispers, as they struggled to escape my throat. I had to skip parts all together to simply be able to finish the story.
I want to hold my children every night after they have fallen asleep. I want to sweep their hair back, kiss their foreheads, and nuzzle their cheeks. I want to feel the trusting weight of their body in my arms. That deep sleep where they have complete confidence in us as parents.
These moments are precious, and experiencing them as a parent was very different than as a child. I understood this mother’s desire to hold her child, even if he drove her crazy all day. And as my children comforted me as I cried, I realized the power of letting them hold me.