I was hanging out with my quilting buddies last month when the subject of my son’s impending wedding came up. Where did the years go? Geez, I’ve been writing about the lad since he was 9 years old. In a few days, Ricky will be marrying the lovely Kate, not to be confused with Ricky’s oldest sister, Katie, which would just be wrong any way you slice your tomatoes. Yep, I’m all ready to celebrate their huge day. I’ve got my MOG (“mother of the groom”) dress, which I have to admit, it was pretty darn fun saying “yes” to that dress. I’ve even purchased a new pair of heels. This I know for certain, when it is time for our mother/son dance, I’ll wish they were sneakers. And then there is also a little sparkly bling to go with the whole ensemble. Go ahead, I don’t mind if you call me the rhinestone cowgirl! It was my quilt buddy Tonie that posed a question. “Have you ever read the book ‘Love You Forever?’” Tonie asked. “No, can’t say I have,” I said, after dusting off the very last file cabinet in my brain. “It is a children’s book. But also one of those lovely books that mothers often give their sons when they leave the nest, get married, or have their first child,” said Tonie. Googling the title that night – it was written by Robert Munsch – I had to admit the cover staring back at me on the computer screen looked very familiar. Certainly I’ve seen the book around. The cover contains a picture of a tot sitting on the floor next to the potty in a nicely wallpapered bathroom. The obviously destructive lad is sitting amongst long streamers of toilet paper littering the tile floor. There is a ribbon of toothpaste and a powder handprint near his feet. And the toddler, well he is holding a wristwatch in one hand which appears to be heading right for the toilet. I ordered the book immediately. It appears someone had written a book about my Ricky and I had to read it! I learned when UPS delivered a package a few days later the little book was published right about the time Ricky was born. It figures. Starts out with a mother rocking her baby and singing “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” Geez, the book made me tear up and I hadn’t even got to the second page. It brought me right back to when Ricky was little enough to be rocked not so very long ago. I musta logged 3,000 miles on that old cane rocking chair between our three babes. Through the pages the baby boy grows into an inquisitive toddler, a smelly nine-year-old, a teenager who listens to strange music and finally a grown-up man. During each stage in the boy’s life, the mother admits the lad makes her just a little nuts. I could relate. But still she sneaks into her son’s room, as all mothers have done, just to make sure their child is still breathing. At each stage when the boy is deep into sleep, she picks up her son and rocks him and sings “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” There’s more but you get the message. It’s how I feel about Ricky. He has grown up into a fine young man. Oh, over the years I’ve written hundreds of words about his antics. He was probably 5 when he nearly electrocuted the air conditioning repair man. And in the first grade Ricky buried himself up to his neck in a ginormous pile of mulch on the school playground. He loved hammers and ant piles and one time wandered off the block. Thank goodness the constable knew all the places little boys liked to dig in the woods. Obviously, his mother did not. Those stories were about celebrating the way a mother lovingly looks at her son, tries to keep him safe and make sense of the chaos. Most mothers will admit they may have not written the book “Love You Forever,” but many of us have certainly lived it, and loved every minute of it. Dixie Frantz is a longtime Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 15 years. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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