Sometimes, I’m a terrible father.
My daughter is eight years old. She’ll be nine in just a few months. We’ve been reading together regularly at night for the last several years. And Monday night was the first time we’ve ever experienced the warm and wonderfully tender book, “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney.
With this level of carelessness, why do they let me raise children?
I actually had never even heard of the book until the other day. I was listening to a Taylor Swift song (don’t hate!). This particular song makes me cry every time I hear it (before you judge, go and listen to it yourself. If it doesn’t bring tears to your eyes – especially if you’re a parent – then you have no soul). Anyway, one of the lines in the song is “I love you to the moon and back.” This intrigued me. Was it something particular to this song or a quote from somewhere else? So I googled it. And sure enough, it was loosely taken from this book about a little nut brown hare and his father.
Instead of reading it, I searched for it on youtube (this is 2013, y’all!). I found it and watched the entire animated story unfold. In the book, the child goes to great length to let his father know just how much he loves him. Each time, the father shows his son he loves his even more. The final thing little nut brown hare says to big nut brown hare before he dozes off is “I love you right up to the moon.”
The father’s whisper to his already sleeping child is, “I love you right up to the moon…and back.”
What I loved most about the story is the idea of family members trying to “outdo” each other with their love. There are so many prideful, selfish, unhealthy ways we see competitiveness play out within the family. It’s nice to think about what it would look like if we all “competed” within our families to love each other the most boldly, the most daringly, the most sacrificially, the most completely.
I knew I had to share this with my daughter the first chance I got.