October 5, 2011

Love You Forever

This past Sunday, when it was time for bed, Max and I climbed into his bed so I could read him some books. We chose “Are You My Mother” and then he specifically asked for the blue book with the baby on the front that we had read the night before Christmas. Seriously, how does he remember this stuff? I finally figured out he meant “Love You Forever.” I both love and hate this book. It is a beautiful little story of a mother who, every night, after her son is asleep, picks him up and sings to him:

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

She does this until he is an adult – she drives to his house with a ladder and climbs in his window. Finally, when he is grown and she is older, he goes to see her and she is too sick to sing, so he sings to her. And then he goes home and sings to his baby girl. By the time we finish this book, every single time we read it, I am choking back tears. And last Sunday was no different. I read it quickly, choked back some sobs and turned off the light. It has been a big day – we had gone to my sister’s for lunch and then over to Grandpa’s (my dad’s) house so Mike could move some furniture around as hospice was bringing the hospital bed over on Monday.

As we lay there in his bed, Max asked me if I would miss him when he grew up and moved to New York City. He told has told me more than once that he and his wife and their three children – Fergus, Felicia and Laney, will live in New York City at the Plaza Hotel and he will write and illustrate children’s books.
I said that I would miss him, but that I would come visit him and he would come visit me. He then asked if I would sit in his room after he was gone and cry and would I sell his toys at a yard sale (I think someone has been watching Toy Story 3) and I said, I would not sell his toys that I would put them in the attic.

He was quiet and then he turned to me and pushed his little face into my shoulder and began to cry, “I don’t want to grow up, I am not ready to grow up.”

And of course, I began to cry and said, “I am not ready for you to grow up either, you are not grown up yet we have lots of time and you do not ever have to move out of our house! You and your wife and Fergus, Felicia and Laney can all live with us!”

And we lay in bed crying next to each other until I kept hearing a popping noise over and over again and went out to the den to find out what was going on. Mike told me there were fireworks for some reason so I got Max and we went out on the roof to watch them light up the sky. He stayed up too late and the fireworks went on and on, but time is short and he will be grown up soon and won’t let me read books to him or lie in bed with him, so I want to make it count. I am not ready for any of this this, but I will do it anyway because he is my little boy and for as long as I am living, my baby he’ll be.