Beware the Books with Boys on the covers

I can no longer go to the book store that sits a block from my house.  Thanks to a frigging kids book on the discount rack.

Just enjoying a few kids books delighting in the pictures and stories & remembering days where I was tucked in & read to nightly.  I was lucky enough to come from two parents who encouraged reading & took the time regularly to read to us.  When we were old enough they were sure to ensure library visits or shopping trips had us stocked with tales to read on our own.  There were many days that I was kept out of trouble due to being glued to discovering what worlds lie within two covers.

From time to time I peruse the racks and check out the children’s section in addition to the more age appropriate ones.  Usually I get bored pretty quick and move on.  For some reason, maybe it is the season of the inner child, I found myself reading a couple during my visit today.

However, I was not ready for the book with the smiling kid tearing up the toilet paper on the cover.  Looked innocent and playful enough.

Why does this book sit there without any warning labels or indications of what lies between the covers?  Waiting to strike its pain to those when they least expect it.  Confused?

Wikipedia summarizes the story as…

As the story begins, a son has just been born. The story then continues through the life of the boy until he is a grown man. The mother continues to rock her son to sleep singing “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” Later, the role is reversed and he holds his elderly mother and says “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my Mommy you’ll be.” At the very end of the story, the mother passes away and her son is the father of a little girl, rocking her to sleep; singing the same song that his mother used to sing to him.

While I knew with a title like Love You Forever it might be sentimental, I was NOT read for the tears falling & the crushed feeling I got.  Lets just say I didn’t get to the part where the son has his own daughter or the mother passes.  The image of the son holding his mom was all I could take.

There it was midst the goofy stories of animals exploring life and learning, various editions of familiar takes retold in countless ways and simple words for babies board books.  Like a black widow spider hanging out in the playland ball pit.  No foreboding or hint of the way it can swiftly change a happy day into sorrow.

Try to play it off like I had something in my eye, but that didn’t really fool anyone especially when I started the sniffling.  UG!  Yup… I am now able to say I have broken down in a public place.  Check that one off my life or bucket list.  Great.

Maybe it is the season or stress of everything going on or perhaps it is the evil words of the pages with pictures.  Book burning anyone?

Thankfully the reviews from places like Amazon make me feel a little less alone in my weepy experience.  Sounds like this is one that tugs at many heartstrings.

& some people dare say books are boring! Ha!

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6 thoughts on “Beware the Books with Boys on the covers

  1. As the story begins, a son has just been born. The story then continues through the life of the boy until he is a grown man. The mother continues to rock her son to sleep singing “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” Later, the role is reversed and he holds his elderly mother and says “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my Mommy you’ll be.” At the very end of the story, the mother passes away and her son is the father of a little girl, rocking her to sleep; singing the same song that his mother used to sing to him.

  2. Jane: where in the book to you find the signs of dyfunctional? In what ways is the osn not an ordinarly boy, teenager, adult? The mother, to me, is talking about her internal life and love of her child. She doesn’t stop him from being the crazy teenager, the messy kid – one who wouldn’t ever let a mom hug them. She loves him even when she couldn’t make contact with him. I saw her actions, more about her feelings – than literally do anything to interfere with his life. She always allowed herself those obsessive feelings at times when they could not possibily interfere with her son’s life. If the son were dysfunctional, he wouldn’t have moved out of the house. She would have literally held on. And what about his caring of her when she is old and alone. To me, as a geriatric social worker, children who do give their parents that kind of support in old age, have turned out to be quite remarkable people who feel that they had been given so much and want to give back. Most of my clients have children who run in the opposite direction.

  3. Today, my two girls go for it regularly on my shelf at bedtime. They tease me because I can’t get through it without crying. Funny to me that they have a very good grasp of allegory and they, unlike some of the book’s critics, understand that the scenes with the mother coming to the man’s apartment are actually his memories of her love. They understand, as I explain to them that the love poured into the son by his mother, has taught him how to love his new baby daughter at the end.

  4. When my grandmother passed away, my mother spoke at her funeral services , and read this book, “Love You Forever” to the crowd that attended. The story tells of the stages of life that both a child and a mother encounter, and how the love of a parent crosses over generations of time, even until eternity.

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