A Bedtime Story

Allow me to share what has come to be “our” favourite bedtime story. The four of us love to cuddle up and read this particular book together before bed. Even little Armaan, all of 17 months, lies spooned in against us, entranced by this precious and touching story. As for Arvind, hearing us read/sing it together just makes him shine. In his eyes, it is further affirmation of our feelings for him and really – can they hear these words enough? I know plenty of children’s books have been written about the parent-child bond, but for us, this just beats them all hands down. And we’re sappy enough to have gone through a fair few:-)

The book is written by Robert Munsch. Tragically, the refrain (which should be sung) was initially written for his two stillborn children. Yet – what a beautiful and poignant way to honour their short lives.

Robert Munsch is right up there on the list of people I would love to share a cuppa with. Yes, I would brew some special darjeeling for you, Robert.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as we do.

loveyouforever

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 baby grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was two years old, and he ran all around the house. He pulled all the books off the shelves. He pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and he took his mother’s watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes his mother would say, “this kid is driving me CRAZY!” But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor, looked up over the side of his bed; and if he was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked 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 little boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was nine years old. And he never wanted to come in for dinner, he never wanted to take a bath, and when grandma visited he always said bad words. Sometimes his mother wanted to sell him to the zoo! But at night time, when he was asleep, the mother quietly opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep, she picked up that nine-year-old boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked 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 boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a teenager. He had strange friends and he wore strange clothes and he listened to strange music. Sometimes the mother felt like she was in a zoo! But at night time, when that teenager was asleep, the mother opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep she picked up that great big boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked 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.

That teenager grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a grown-up man. He left home and got a house across town. But sometimes on dark nights the mother got into her car and drove across town. If all the lights in her son’s house were out, she opened his bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of his bed. If that great big man was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked 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.

Well, that mother, she got older. She got older and older and older. One day she called up her son and said, “You’d better come see me because I’m very old and sick.” So her son came to see her. When he came in the door she tried to sing the song. She sang: I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always… But she couldn’t finish because she was too old and sick. The son went to his mother. He picked her up and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And he sang this song:

I’ll love you forever,

I’ll like you for always,

As long as I’m living my Mommy you’ll be.

When the son came home that night, he stood for a long time at the top of the stairs. Then he went into the room where his very new baby daughter was sleeping. He picked her up in his arms and very slowly rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while he rocked her he sang:

I’ll love you forever,

I’ll like you for always,

As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be

Edited to add: If you want to hear Munsch narrating the story, check out his website.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “A Bedtime Story

  1. alright. so you made me cry. i hope you’re happy *sniffs*

    • shal247

      Oh MM:-) On the bright side, circle of love coming complete, love carrying on and living on.. and all that.
      Damn. Ok. So its a tear-jerker. I give up:-(

  2. I distinctly remember a fond grandfather coming all the way from Vanchiyoor every evening to pick up a grand daughter in his arms and very slowly rock her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…until she slept.

    Which posed problems for the little girl’s’ parents when the grandfather was not in town, because she wouldn’t go to sleep without his special brand of rocking! :-)

    And boy, could she bawl!

  3. shal247

    I have no idea who are would be talking about..can’t be me given that I was all sweetness and light;-)

    I won’t deny that we were loved excessively and indulgently:-) It definitely makes it easier to relate to the book. It also makes you want to pay it forward.

  4. Anj

    I love this story. I think it was covered on Oprah or something..I seem to remember the refrain but can’t remember what show I heard it on. To be fair though I think the part about the mom crawling in through your bedroom window when you’ve moved away is a bit creepy..is that just me?? :)

  5. shal247

    Anj, LOL!!!Yup, I would have to agree with you about the mom creeping in through the window bit.

    Still, if you see it through the eyes of a five year old, its probably quite comforting:-)

  6. Vienna

    i remeber this booke, my mother would read it to me every night beofre bed until she passed away, now i have it tattooed on my back, and everytime i look at it i cry a little

  7. karen goins

    this book was given to me from my brother when i had my children, he wanted me to be able to share the love and feel how blessed we were to have children of our own, Although he shared such a short time with us
    he filled their hearts with luv and memories they both will remember for a lifetime, and one of them is this book that we will cherish for always. thank you for such a gift. In LOVING MEMORY of FRANK LOBUE MAY 20, 1958 to August 20, 2000. WE will LOVE YOU FOREVER and ALWAYS, Your Sister, Karen Son Frankie and Daughter Grace Ann
    June 26th, 2011

  8. moushumipalit

    What a beautiful story this is!!! Thank you for sharing. Just stumbled upon your blog thanks to Women’s Web. Loved it. Will be visiting regularly henceforth! :)

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