always and forever


{Image is a snapshot of Brooke’s spelling homework showing where she has filled in synonyms for act (perform) and always (forever).}

It’s homework time. Brooke and I are on the floor in my room. She has two worksheets: one math and one spelling. She places them side by side and begins in the middle of the math sheet. She then moves over to the middle of the spelling sheet. Then to the bottom of the math sheet. Then to the top of the spelling sheet. She does the parts that she finds easiest first, avoiding the challenging bits for as long as she can.

At the top of the spelling sheet, there are four words. The instructions are to find their synonyms among the spelling words. This isn’t something that she can yet do alone, but we’re able to tease it out together. One of the synonyms is always. She scans the list of spelling words, but comes up dry, so we try together.

“Let’s think of a way to say this,” I say. “I’ll always love you. That means that I’ll love you forever.

I expect her to write the word forever on the page and move on to the next one. She doesn’t. She looks up and searches my face. Eventually, her eyes settle directly on mine. To this day, my daughter’s face head-on takes my breath away. The rarity of these moments only serves to increase their intensity. I am literally holding my breath.

“Will you never stop loving me?” she asks.

“Never,” I say with a smile.

“Would you hate me?” she asks.

My heart clenches. “Oh my gosh, baby, I could never, ever hate you.”

“You love me forever,” she says.

“Yup,” I say, getting it now.

“Always,” she says.

“Exactly,” I say. “I will always love you. Forever.”

“And since you wouldn’t stop,” she says.

“That’s right,” I say. “I’ll never stop.”

She writes the word on the page and moves on to the next one. The moment has passed.

And will last forever.

17 thoughts on “always and forever

  1. A little tear of happy. I’ll never forget the moment one night in bed that I said my usual I love you to my son and then added no matter what. He rolled over, looked me straight in the face and replied, “thank you. I didn’t know that.”

  2. I have never commented before, and have been following you for over 2 years! This post is the first to move me to tears – our journeys are different from most, but WOW, these moments are powerful. Thank you from Canada for your worlds every day….

  3. it’s the kind of week where i’m trying to hate the world, but then you go and post this and the world seems kind of awesome. devious. you two are devious.

    • omg, i totally get this. seriously. it happened last night in a moment when i was completely fed up with everything and everyone. the internet was collectively on my last nerve. i felt like everyone i know had either donned a tin foil hat and was spouting conspiracy theories as gospel — or — was pissed at me for either saying something i hadn’t said or for apologizing for offending people by saying something that i hadn’t said. if you followed that, go get yourself a cookie. anyway, right in the middle of that cluster$@%! of frustration and anger is when this happened. and i was so taken aback by it that i could barely process what i was feeling. it was like it all unfolded in slow motion. and in a way, it did. it’s one of brooke’s coolest tricks, that — slowing everything down, refusing to abide haste, forcing us (in the very best way) to BE IN the moment – to see it, smell it, hear it, taste it, and above all to FEEL it. you’re absolutely right, it’s devious as hell. 🙂

  4. Pingback: A Moment to Remember | Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

  5. Oh my…. I kn it’s a wonderfull feelingright there! Congratuions for having a sweet ke her. I also have a blog where I talk about mothers. I miss my mom so much and Is my way of letting her know that I love her. Hope she’s reading it now…

  6. Oh my…. I know it’s a wonderfull feeling right there! Congratulations for having a sweet kid like her. I also have a blog where I talk about mothers. I miss my mom so much and Is my way of letting her know that I love her. Hope she’s reading it now…

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