01 October 2009

Running in Flip-Flops

Today I would like to do something a little different and talk about a children’s book , and how it pertains to the real world. This book is called, Love You Forever and it’s written by a man named Robert Munsch. I have to admit, it’s been quite a while since I read this book, and I actually had to do a quick search to even find the author. But recently some events in my life have made me think a lot about this book.
The book itself is a (perhaps syrupy) sweet story of a young boy growing up with his mother who rocks him to sleep every night singing the same refrain, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m with you, my baby you’ll be.” We, the readers, get to see this charming bond between mother and son develop as the boy becomes a young man, and eventually the roles are reversed and the young man is rocking his frail and aged mother singing, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m with you, my mommy you’ll be.” At the end of the book the young man is seen with his own daughter singing the song his mother used to sing to him.
Maria Shriver, who reportedly cannot read the book through without crying said, in an issue of O, The Oprah Magazine , “It says so much about the circle of life, youth, parenting, and our responsibility for our parents as we grow older.” Ms. Shriver does have a point. The scene where the young man is finally rocking his mother is rather touching, and the fact that he can pass on the legacy of his mother’s love to his own children is very heartwarming.
But, (we all knew there was a ‘but’ right?...the cranky critic just can’t be satisfied with sweet, can she?) there is a moment in the book where the young man’s mother crawls through his window at night to sing to him. I have to say for me this was slightly creepy, and looking back on the book it did add a certain tone to the book I was a little uncomfortable with, but it isn’t really that bad. Most will probably find it noble that the young man, instead of becoming frustrated with his mother for "smothering him," goes back to his mother in her old age and sings to her. I would like it if all the people who do end up reading this book look back on the love their own mothers showed them, and perhaps extend some love in return. Just don’t crawl through any windows or try to move back home, give the woman some space!
I did end up going to Robert Musnch’s website, and the very first thing I noticed about this book is that it began with the song in the book. He apparently wrote the song when he and his wife lost two children. After I heard that, I no longer minded about any of the overly sweet sentiments, and I no longer even cared about the mother crawling through the window. Sometimes if you think someone is doing something stupid, weird, or creepy, you should just ask them what their motives are. You end up becoming much more sympathetic.



Quote for the Day: "Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings" ~Heinrich Heine

Scripture of the Day: Psalm 119:30 "I have chosen the way of truth: Thy judgments have I laid before me."

Reading Suggestion: 2BR02B, It's pronounced, To Be Or Not To Be by Kurt Vonnegut. It's an amazing short story that I would eventually like to dedicate an entire blog post to, but I would like you all to read it first.

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