Guess how much I love you

An article, written by Principal Clinical Psychologist Colby Pearce, which originally appeared on Colby’s blog site Attachment and Resilience.

Guess How Much I love you, by Sam McBratney, was a favourite bedtime story for my youngest son. Such was its impact that the final line “I love you right up to the moon . . . and back” became an oft-repeated expression of the loving connection we shared.

My son is nearly eleven years of age now and long past are the days when I would lay alongside him and read and sing to him until he contentedly fell asleep. We still have our bedtime ritual, incorporating a series of thumb wrestles and rock, paper, scissors; after which he still falls happily asleep.

A few nights ago the Guess How Much I Love You line came up again. This time, instead of responding with the oft-repeated “right up to the moon and back” I told a story from my own childhood of my father’s home brewed beer.

My dad used to brew his own beer. I am not sure where he went wrong, but when he opened the bottle from some batches the beer simply grew! I recall watching as the froth from the beer would continue to grow right over of the top of the glass from which he was drinking, accompanied by excited exclamations for my dad to drink up quickly before it was lost.

I likened my love for my children to this auto-regenerating beer my father brewed. It is always growing, regenerating itself after each sip.

My son simply smiled that deeply contented smile of a child who knows they are loved.