I bought this book 10 years ago when Sierra and Jared left for their first unaccompanied plane flight to Tahoe. It was December, 2000. Sierra was almost 9 and Jared had just turned 5. The pain that my heart-felt was nearly unbearable, and I needed them to know how much Mommy loved them…no matter how far away they were. I read it to them before they left, then I tucked it into their carry-on for them to read often.
Through the years, I’ve read this book to Shawn, Malia and Kassia as well. It chokes me up every time. Tonight while snuggling with Kasi in her bed, I read it to her.
At the end of the story, Little Nutbrown Hare declares, “I love you right up to the moon.”
Once he falls asleep, Big Nutbrown Hare whispers, “I love you right up to the moon–and back.”
Kasi looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, “I love YOU right up to God and Jesus, Mommy.”
I hugged her tight and said, “I love YOU right up to God and Jesus AND the moon and back.”
When I said her goodnight prayers to her, I thanked God for my Kasi and told Him how happy she makes my heart. She told me she might “cry happy tears from that”. Honestly, I am SO very blessed.
With all of the things that have been going wrong lately (broken dryer, Steve’s transmission screwing up, Malia getting poison ivy, etc)…I am reminded daily how very much is RIGHT in my life. I have an amazing husband and five wonderful children.
Today while at the laundromat (note the broken dryer above), Kasi and I giggled while passing the time. We hugged and laughed while watching the clothes go round and round in the dryer. A lady there shared something with me that I think I will remember forever. She started by asking if Kassia was my only child. I informed her that, “No…she is my last…the youngest of 5.”
She said, “I can tell that you two have a very close and special relationship, it is fun to watch.”
I thanked her and she told Kasi to, “Be good to your Mommy, she’s the only one you’ll ever get.”
Kasi smiled as I informed her that Kasi is very good to her Mommy. The woman then proceeded to tell me that she “HAD” four children. However, 14+ years ago, she was in a car accident. It put her in a coma and when she woke up a month later…she had forgotten the last 11 years of her life! *gasp* Gone. No recollection at all. No idea who her husband was, and no memory of or connection to her children. Gone. I welled up as I listened to her. She said that her Mom had raised her children, and that she gave the youngest up for adoption. She couldn’t be a Mom anymore, because she “lost that piece of her that connected to them, that understood how to be a Mom, that understood WHO she was and who they were.”
Then she said, “Your life can change in an instant. I would tell you to enjoy your children, but it is very clear to me that you already do.”
I left the laundromat hugging my daughter even tighter. I simply can not fathom what this woman went through…it mystifies me. I only know the depths of my love for my children, and nothing could ever change that. Ever. They don’t have to “Guess How Much I Love” them…I strive to make it abundantly clear.
As Shawn used to say when I read the book to him: “You love me to infinity and beyond, right Mom?”
I’d say, “I love you to infinity and beyond–and back”.
I highly recommend this book to every parent. Kasi told me tonight that she is, “Going to keep it forever so she can read it to her kids someday”.
I might cry happy tears from that. 🙂
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