“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be”
I don’t know many people who haven’t read this beautiful children’s book. It seems everyone has a copy tucked away on a shelf. The story always evokes some sort of emotion in the reader. Some find the mother’s love so endearing and it pulls at their heartstrings, others find the mother’s continual routine of sneaking into her sons bedroom to rock him after he is asleep a bit odd - especially once the boy enters his teen years and moves on to becoming a man.
I have personally always loved the story; and after having my own boys I feel the ode to motherhood and the love that never ends but only grows.
Recently, I discovered the reason behind the book - and I have to say, it broke my heart and made the book even more special. Knowing why something was so lovingly penned can plant something deeper in your heart.
Robert Munsch wrote this song after he lost his two children to stillbirth. It was a song he would sing to them in his head because singing out loud would always make him cry. He and his wife went on to create a family through adoption - welcoming three beautiful children into their homes, lives and hearts, but as anyone who has lost a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth knows - you never stop loving those sweet souls. Never stop missing them, never stop grieving the loss.
The song eventually turned into the well - loved book that it is today when Munsch, at a book reading at the University of Guelph, realized that while he could never sing the words out loud it was something he could share through a story - and so, in that theater hall, he told the story of “Love you Forever” for the first time. People really connected with it. It struck a chord. Parents bought it for grandparents, grandparents bought it for each other, kids bought it for parents, everyone gifted it to the mother-to-be.
I think when something is written with such heart, love, and feeling behind it people can’t help but connect. You can feel it through the song and through the words of the story. Everyone has a different way of singing the lullaby to their little ones. I know I have softly sung it to my children soothing them through the night hours. Now, knowing the why behind the story, the song becomes that much more tender, that much more dear, that much more strength of love flowing as I stare at their sweet faces.
Thank you Robert Munsch for sharing your story - and the reason behind it - with the world.