Jan 1, 2009

"Love You Forever"

I walked into the bathroom the other day, and saw this:


I can't imagine how that happened.

I suppose that maybe it could be that, you know, because I buy such good quality potty paper that it was just too weighty for the roller thing. And maybe it kept unrolling until one of my nimble, Johnny-on-the-spot boys whipped it back on the spool. Of course, he would need to tuck it under itself to keep it from unrolling again, so he methodically engineered this little concoction only out of dire need to keep the TP under control.

You see, maybe it really was a commode crisis!


Maybe it was a certain four year old who was getting a little distracted while sitting on his baseball-veneered throne cover trying to go "pooh."

Yeah. I think so too.

After I finished laughing about it, I started thinking that deep in the recesses of my mind I was being reminded of something. Something good.

And then it hit me.

Have you ever read this book to one of, or all of, your kids?

Well, okay, Lil bit is a "lil bit" older than the sweet, innocent toddler shown on the front cover. But believe me, he's just as mischievous!

But the book, if you haven't read it, is a story of a mom who holds her newborn, rocking him and singing this song:

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

The baby continues to grow, and through each stage of the child's life, the mother continues to sing this same song to him. Eventually, the role is reversed and the adult son is holding his elderly, presumably ailing mother and sings the song to her, changing the words a bit to, "as long as I'm living, my mommy you'll be."

I have never read this book to my children without crying. Ever.

After he goes back to his home, he walks into the nursery and picks up his own sleeping baby. As he holds her in his arms, he sings to her the song he heard his whole life.

Talk about a perspective on the "little things."

One day, I will no longer walk into the bathroom to see the toilet paper in a wad four times the size it's supposed to be. There will come a day when I won't have to clean up three separate tracks of mud through the kitchen 15 minutes after I've mopped it. Sooner than I think will come, I will be able to do all my laundry in one single afternoon because there will only be two of us at home.

You'd think that's something to look forward to, except that I think the empty hole in my heart will overshadow the lack of chores.

I should apologize right here for my friends who are there already, and now I am reminding you of your empty hole. I don't mean to bring you down.

But I know that, where I'm at right now, I need the reminder of that which is inevitable. Because they really won't be here forever. And even though I am charged with teaching them to be respectful of the things God has blessed us with, I want them to know that regardless of the senseless messes they make and the hard work behind keeping them fed, clothed, and educated...they are loved.

Beyond comprehension.


Greg C said...

Well said, mine are growing so fast and I know that very soon they will be gone. All I have to do is hear that song "turn around" and I get very very sad.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Love this post! You're right. There will be a day that we long to see those very things that we griped and complained about ... even the toilet issues. My youngest has stopped up ours numerous times and stuck an entire roll of toilet paper in there. Thank God that He entrusts us with these little people.

Jodie said...

This is great Chel. I really needed to hear this, but what I normally see is "freedom", not the empty hole... that part doesn't enter my mind so much. Not as much as I'd like.

Thanks for writing this. It's good for my Mama's Heart. :)

sara said...

this book always makes me cry!! I got teary just in your summary!!!

But let me give you some hope. Having older kids, one already gone.....yes, you miss "some" of those things. But God replaces them with even better things..if you can imagine!! I love the relationship I have with my grown daughter now and wouldn't trade it for the world. Do I wish I could hold them in my arms again sometimes....yes.....but then my 19 yr old comes home to visit and sits next to me on the sofa and says "mommy play with my hair".......priceless!!!!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I hope you did not excoriate the child for his natural proclivities! I do remember this book, although it always made my kids and me sad, so we didn't read it very often.

Chel you are one smart mom to be awake to the fact that the kids are "just passing through." When you're in the middle of it, you can't imagine it being different, but it does change. There is joy at every stage in life, though. That is the good news in it all.

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Hi there sweet sister!!! Hug that sweet sweet nephew of mine!! My litte Princess loved to unroll the tp too!!
I know we can get caught up in a panic, flustered, and mustered(mustard) but man-thase (mayonaise) just not enough time with those little munchkins!

tootles, chel

Dena @ Green Acres said...

LOVE that book! I loved it so much that I have 3 copies of it put away to give to my children whne they each have their first baby.

You're right...the time does go by faster than you can imagine. However, as I have found over this Christmas break, the good news about them being gone is the joy & fun you all get to experience when they do come home. I honestly have laughed more with my daughter in the past 2 weeks than I ever have. I'd rather it didn't have to end, but I know the next time they come home it'll be just as fun.

Edie said...

I've never seen that book before but your description made me teary-eyed. Enjoy them while they are still at home just as you are, but Fear Not, cause grandkids are even better! :D

By the way, have I told you lately how much you bless my heart! I'm so glad God made our paths cross on this journey. Love ya girl! Now go fix that wadded up roll. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I'm so with you. I don't look forward to those days at all! In fact, my baby is turning 5 this year and heading off to school in the fall - the nerve!! And I don't know how I'm going to handle it. Oh wait. I do. With lots of kleenex!!

Elle said...

Oh you are so funny
I love the first photo.

Sister Angie said...

Oh Chel, precious, precious post. You are a dear. I totally get this mommy moment. Thanks for sharing.

Nel said...

I loved your post! Yes I remember that book, my daughter had it, she is 26, and is now reading it to her 2 1/2 year old. They do grow up so fast. But then there are grandkids. And you get to watch your kids raise theirs just like you did, and you realize I guess I did do a good job! My daughter and I are 4 hours apart, but we talk to each other at least every other day, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day! She is one of my best friends!

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

I wish you were here playing the Wii with us too! It is a lot of fun without the stigma that other video consoles have and their games.
I yikes it a yot!

Barb said...

I loved that book! I made up a tune to sing for the song part. My son would get very upset if someone else read the book to him and didn't sing my version!!LOL.

Merrie said...

I'm laughing... I remember those days too well..
and the book... everything I read it I cry... even for years when I'd pick it up, I'd cry.
It has been "hidden" for a while and just thinking about it tears me up...
So glad my children know I love them... and plan to live with them when/if the time comes... hahaha

MamaHen said...

Upon seeing only the picture of the mangled roll of potty paper, I laughed so hard that I cried! The further I scrolled, the faster the tears rolled down my cheeks... not only for the absolute truth of what you said, but for the fact that my sweet "nuther-daughter" sees what so many miss until it's too late. All "my boys" are in good hands!

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful to have stumbled across this. I just had my first baby and he is now 6 mths. old. Being his mommy has been the best 6 mths. of my life. I waited until I was 38 yrs. old to have him which is good for me as I do enjoy every stage. The only struggle I am having is seeing how fast he is growing. On the one hand, it is, of course a blessing but...I loved holding my little newborn close, I even loved the early morning breast feedings...Those early days were like heaven for me. Till just recently, he would take all of his naps on my chest while stretched out in a big chair. Now, is 30 inches long and 20 pds., so he gets better rest in his crib. I did the co-sleeping, which worked well for us. But, now he is smart enough to feed every few hours and wake if he is right next to me, so I try to keep him in his crib, so that he rests better. I hope that as time passes my heart doesn't yearn so much for those early moments and that I don't cry everytime I see his newborn videos and long for the past...this is not like me but, with this life experience I do feel melancholy, at times.
The good news is that I have made a conscious decision to work, a lot less and I am grateful to be able to spend, practically all of my time with him...Oh, and I too have that book! And, I too cry every time I read it.