‘Love You Forever’ book is once again the cause of a heated online debate

When I was growing up, every year on Mother’s Day, kindergarten classes around the county I lived in would invite moms to come and sit for a reading of the 1986 book “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. “Love You Forever” shows the circle of life between a mother and son, and how even though they both grow older, the love they have for each other remains the same. And of course, the son ends up taking care of his mom the way she did for him when he was a baby. 

There was never a dry eye in the house, and the moms and kids reciting the lines to the story got to keep a copy of the book, with our little scrawled-out messages we wrote to our moms when we were five. My mom still has the book I gave to her that day back in 1990, and it still makes her cry. 

While some parts may seem odd to some people, on the whole, this book is supposed to be a sweet representation of motherhood and children growing up and closing the circle. However, Marlene Kern Fischer, a New York mother, blogger and author who posted on Facebook about this story had some thoughts about the “unsettling” things she had to bring up for debate.

In her post, Fischer said, “When her son grows up, the mother drives across town and sneaks into his house when it’s dark to sing to him and rock him … Does no one else find this incredibly unsettling?”

In an article from USA TODAY, Fischer shared that she did cry the first time she read it. 

However, Fischer told the publication, “Anyone who doesn’t cry when reading this book has a heart of stone.”

But “somehow, I feel that my emotions are being played upon,” she wrote in the Facebook post. “Here I was a brand-new mom seeing my entire life with my son flash before my eyes.”

She first points out how “weird” it was that the mom entered her teenage boy’s room to rock him while singing the lullaby. 

“Okay, when my boys were teens, if they had caught me rocking them, they would have gone ballistic and probably screamed, ‘WTF?’ before putting a lock on their door,” she said in her Facebook post. Then she said the book gets “even stranger.”

Fisher said the book gets even stranger when the mom sneaks into her son’s house when he’s an adult to sing to him and rock him. “Does he not have a significant other?” she asked in the post. “Or has the mother ruined any chance of him finding a partner by her bizarre behavior? Did she scare a few companions off—’Oh excuse me, please move over so that I can pick up your boyfriend/husband and rock him?’ Does no one else find this incredibly unsettling????” she said.

She added that she may have been “overthinking” what the book is meant to be about: “A parent’s love and enduring traditions.” But she said it never made sense to her and that she hates the book.

Boy oh boy did people have some feelings about her comments.

Per USA Today, one person commented on Fisher’s post, “If either one of them asked to rock me, I would absolutely let them do it,” she wrote. “All of my friends are losing parents and children (to death, college, etc.) and those connections mean more to me than ever before.”

Another said that she’s 50 years old and she still lays her head on her dad’s chest to hear his heartbeat,” USA TODAY reported.

One commenter was diplomatic in her disagreement with Fisher’s comments, and said, “I love the book and so does my now 29 year old son. It has always held special meaning to us. No judging at all here.”

“To me, though the pictures clearly come off as a bit creepy, I have always interpreted them metaphorically. I feel the author is simply trying to illustrate the deep and everlasting love we feel towards our children as parents,” she said.

Fisher concluded her post by saying, “I do know that the author wrote the book for his two stillborn children, which is truly tragic. Having lost an infant son myself, I can understand his motivation but it doesn’t make me like the book any better.”

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