Thursday, October 09, 2008

How much do you love?

When my granddaughter was just a little tot (pictured here) she used to call me on the phone. We'd talk about her day and what she had done and what she was thinking. Before we hung up, she would repeat a ritual she'd started at the end of the very first phone call.

"Memere, I love you as much as... " Here she paused and I pictured her casting about for something with which to compare her love for me. "I love you as much as all the sofa pillows on all the sofas in the whole world," she ended triumphantly.

I was charmed. Imagine! Not to be outdone, I told her, "Well, I love you as much as all the leaves on all the trees in the whole universe."

There was a little silence. Then, "I love you as much as all the clouds in the whole universe."

"And I love you as much as all the grains of sand on every beach in the whole world."

She sighed. "Memere, I love YOU infinity times infinity," and with that, she hung up.

Infinity was a pretty big concept for a four year old. Now that she's almost eight, her conversations run the gamut of school activities to friendships to what makes her cry, and better, what makes her laugh. She especially enjoys teaching her Memere things and searches for ways to surprise me. But her goodbyes are still presaged with "I love you as much as..."

Tonight it was, "I love you as much as all the raindrops that ever fell and ever will fall." Imagine loving and being loved like that. We should all try it.


Stan Ski said...

Difficult to quantify LOVE - it has no limits and reaches beyond infinity.

Barbara said...

What a great lesson for us all. Sometimes children are so smart, yes? It's nice to have a ritual closing to your phone calls with her.

Jean said...

Je comprends mal la langue anglaise , mais :
"...How much do you love? ...."

là je vois une des questions les plus importantes du monde .

How much do you love?
La question fondamentale !

Sky said...

oh, my younger niece and i have played this game since she was a tiny one. she is now grown and married, and we still play it! phone conversations and emails end with this ritual. i suppose we will do it until i die. :)

herhimnbryn said...

Out of the mouths of babes...........

Ruth D~ said...

This is special. You could write a children's book and dedicate it to your sweet grand daughter. I love you as much as . . . and illustrate it with your photos.

Do it!

Lee said...

Aw, what a darling!

Gary said...

This has officially made me slow down. I can't explain how but I feel differently after reading this. Maybe it is that 'take a moment and marvel in what is truly important' thing. Without love not much else matters. Thanks for sharing.

Vincent said...

I like your post very much. Don't ask me how much. I should have to say "I like it better than the pattern resulting from all the keys on the keyboard I've pressed today."

Pauline said...

stan - no doubt we will never run out of things to compare our love to!

Barbara - we never end a phone conversation without it

Jean, mais oui!

sky - isn't it delightful?

oh yes, HHB!

Ruth- I will submit it somewhere...

oh lee, she IS!

Gary - how cool is that! I'm glad :)

lol Vincent - how apropos!

meggie said...

Granddaughters are so special!

keithsramblings said...

How lovely! My granddaughter is still very small, but I'm hopeful of conversations such as these in the years to come. My grandsons only want to tell me about their latest computer game or Lego construction!

red dirt mule said...

this is one of the few joys i open my heart to these days ... my youngest son plays the i love you so much game so well with me!

as i also have two older teenagers, i remember and miss those moments with them. i never believed it: time indeed moves so quickly on gazelle like hooves ..