Growing up, I was an avid reader and definitely had my favorites lining my bookshelf. If, like me, you were also a child of the '90s, you probably had some of the same authors in your own bedroom, but one of my favorites was Robert Munsch. I'm sure you remember the name, but if you're a parent, you'll instantly recognize his classic Love You Forever. I'm sure you've read this half a dozen times, but there is one thing you never knew about Love You Forever that will change the way you see the entire book.
When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite Munsch books and I read it over and over again. As a mom, it has a whole new meaning for me. The story of a woman rocking her baby, no matter how old he gets, and ending it with the man rocking his own frail mother will leave me in tears every time. But knowing the story behind Love You Forever will tear your heart open even more.
In Love You Forever, the mother sings to her child, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." But according to Munsch's website, the sweet song wasn't just made up for a story, it was one he actually sang for his stillborn babies.
"I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song was my song to my dead babies," Munsch explains on his website, noting that he couldn't even sing the song without crying.
I know; now you can't read that story without crying either. Here you thought you had your standard children's book on a mother's life. You probably even laughed at the part in the story where the mother climbs into her grown son's window so she can rock him at night.
But reading the story and knowing that Munsch wrote it with his two stillborn babies in mind changes everything. The story isn't just about the love of a mother ― it's about the love of a mother transcending everything. Time, distance, death ― none of it is any match for how much you love your child. There are no obstacles, there are no distractions. All you have for your little one is this all-consuming, protective love and a fierce dedication for them.
And Munsch managed to convey it beautifully in Love You Forever.
So make it a must-have for your little one's shelf, but keep it on yours, too as a reminder that the love you have for your child is bigger than literally everything.