HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
December 4, 2006, Herald Journal

Forever, for always, and no matter what

By JENNI SEBORA

From baby, to toddler, to a young girl, a daughter was given comfort from a scraped knee or a hurt feeling by her mother’s unconditional love.

The mom would hold her daughter, cuddle her and say the sweet words, “Are you my girl? My sweetie, beetie girl?

Wait for her response, and then end with the loving words, “And I love you forever, for always, and no matter what!” And with a smile, hug and a giggle, the girl was ready to “take on the world,” and go on with her day.

One day, the mother was having a hectic, stressful day and went to her bedroom for a cry The young daughter was soon at her mother’s side with the same comforting, soothing actions and words, “Are you my mommy? My sweetie, beetie mommy. I love you forever, for always, and no matter what!”

And with a smile, hug and a giggle, the mother was ready for her next challenge.

This scenario is from a story I read in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, by Jeanette Lisefski. We all need chicken soup! What a gift we give our children to let them know through words and actions that we will be there for them, “Forever, for always, and no matter what!”

Children need that unconditional love from us as parents. It is a gift that keeps giving, that our children can pass on just as the daughter did with her mother so naturally, because that is what she knew, and had learned from a most important person in her life, her mother, her parent.

We all need that unconditional love from someone important in our lives, and in this situation, the mother received the gift from her own child. What a gift! We all need to be “picked up” when we have fallen down, and receive comforting words from someone important in our lives.

This story reminds me of the wonderful and popular children’s book, “Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch, which is a story about the “enduring nature of parents’ love and how it crosses generations.”

The mother in the story picks up her newborn son, rocks him, and lovingly sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

The mother continues to do this with her son as he grows and passes through the various childhood stages and challenging times and becomes a man. As the mother has become elderly and needs her son’s love, he in turn, passes this same comfort on to his mother, by holding her and lovingly singing, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

A plaque on the wall near my children’s bedrooms reads, “Children need love the most when they least deserve it.” I don’t know who it was written by, but I try and read the plaque every week to remind myself of its words.

I was lucky enough to receive the gift of that unconditional love from my own parents.

Some of the childhood memories that remain so vivid in my mind are the times when I was scared or hurt, and my mom would take me in her arms, hold me close, and rock me in our red rocker (I think that is why red is now one of my favorite colors.) My mother’s warmth, scent, security, and words always provided comfort to me.

I knew she and my father, too, would be there for me. I, too, would then be ready to go on with my day with a giggle and a hug.

I knew that my parents loved me “forever, for always, and no matter what.”

May this holiday season remind us to give this gift of love to our own children all year long. May we all experience that.

My Favorite Thing Gift

We all know that hand and “heart” made gifts mean so much. Here’s an idea for an extra-special gift for someone. This idea is from Sherri Osborn on the web site, http://familycrafts.about.com, I have also made this gift many years ago.

Supplies needed are a shoe box, glue, paint, a mirror, and any other items your child would like to use to decorate and personalize the special box, such as stickers or foam pieces, etc.

Paint the outside of the box and decorate as desired. Glue a small mirror on the inside bottom of the box. Make a card and glue it on the box top that reads: “The person pictured here is one of the most special gifts in my life.” The receiver opens the box to see herself or himself in the mirror to “tell” who that special person is.

“Froehliche Weihnachten” – “Merry Christmas” to all of you!