That question is rhetorical. But I really do love all of you out there. If you didn’t visit my site and read and even occasionally comment, I’d probably still write. I just might cry every time I hit publish.
If you’re a parent, though, you probably already know this question.
It’s the name of a book I had never heard of before my first baby shower. But apparently, it’s become a new parent must-have since it was originally published in 1995. If you don’t know the book, I’ll give you the quick synopsis from Wikipedia.
“This is the story of two Nutbrown Hares, Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare. Although many see them as father and son they are never referred to as such. Little Nutbrown Hare asks Big Nutbrown Hare the titular question, “Guess how much I love you?”, and the book continues as the two use larger and larger measures to quantify how much they love each other in answer to the question. The story is simple, but effectively shows the love the two share for each other.”
Kind of a formal description but that’s the book in a nutshell. It’s a simple little story that ends with Little Nutbrown Hare telling Big Nutbrown Hare, “I love you to the moon” to which Big Nutbrown Hare replies, “I love you to the moon… and back.”
It’s a sweet book that I started reading my son when he was too small to even know what a book was. Eventually we stopped reading the book but the expressions still stayed in our vernacular. Somehow, we get into these battles over how much we love each other. He tells me he loves me to the moon. I tell him I love him to the moon and back.
But he’s almost 4 years old and he is one smart cookie. A little too smart if you ask me.
He’s a HUGE Buzz Lightyear fan so he quickly worked in “Mommy, I love you to infinity and beyond.” That’s a hard one to make a comeback to but he is only 3 and hasn’t quite grasped the concept of infinity (we’re working on it).
I’ll tell him, “Evan, I love you to beyond infinity.” Or “I love you to infinity plus one.”
He has started throwing planets into the mix. “Mommy, I love you to Jupiter and back.” Now that he has a painting of the planets hanging on the wall, he’s been able to one up that one. He now says “Mommy, I love you to Neptune and back.” I’ll, of course, one up that by reminding him that Pluto, while now considered a dwarf planet, is actually the furthest away. “Evan, I love you to Pluto and back.”
Finally, he rendered me speechless… a very hard thing to do in this household.
A few months ago, I was doing something I rarely do. I was reading the newspaper. And the first section with headlines from around the world happened to have quite a few little tidbits about recent scientific discoveries. It was about a Goldilocks planet. The term is used to describe a planet that falls within a star’s habitable zone. The term Goldilocks is used as an homage to the story of the three little bears. Goldilocks was never quite happy until she found porridge that was not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
A Goldilocks planet is a planet that exists in conditions that are similar to the Earth’s and that could potentially be hospitable to life. It’s not too hot and not too cold. You’re starting to see the picture, right?
Well, they found one. And it’s only about 20 light years away so, you know, I’m planning my next expedition there.
Anyway, my son with the inquisitive mind wanted to know all the details even when I intentionally spoke over his head. He got it. Maybe not the 20 light years away part but he got it.
So when we were having our latest battle of love and I tried to win by loving him to Pluto, he finally one upped me by saying, “Mommy, I love you to Goldilocks and back.”
I couldn’t be more proud. But I’m planning our next battle. It just might involve the Andromeda Galaxy.