On our most recent camping trip for Violet's birthday, we started what I can only guess will be a new Amaro family camping tradition: Bringing a tub of books with us and reading to each other at the camp site. We read in the tent. We read at the picnic table. We read around the fire. It was delightful, to experience some of our favorite well-worn books in a fresh new surrounding.
Somehow, "I'll Love You Forever" made it into the camping pile. It's a book I had been avoiding intentionally for years, knowing my tendency to get a bit emotional while reading it.
At lunch one day, the kids picked it out of the pile and handed it to me. I lost it on page two, and Fernando took over only to fall apart on page 4. (There is a REASON we don't read this book.)
There we sat, two grown adults, bawling our eyes out in the forest. Our children just stared at us, bewildered, asking why we were crying, unsatisfied by my wails of "I just love you so much!!"
Since then, they won't touch that book with a 10-foot pole, whispering loudly that "This is the book that makes Mommy cry".
After we got back home though, Daniel casually said to me, "You know, Mommy, some day I'll grow and grow and grow until I'm 32 and then I'll live somewhere else." (pause) "Away from you." (pause) And he flashed me his mock-super-sad face, as if waiting to see if he could trigger the water works again.
When I didn't succumb to a waterfall of emotion, he dropped it and went off to play legos.
As of right now, I'm black-listing that book permanently. It's just too much of a risk.