January 12, 2015

The Giving Tree

When I was a teenager I was really into the idea that I should get a whole collection of children's books together so I could read them to my kids someday. Luckily for me, my mom is one of the best supporters of childhood literacy and took it upon herself to teach all of her children to read. At home. Prior to starting kindergarten. She supported my desire for good children's literature by purchasing good literature for me for every birthday and Christmas I can remember. 

This evening little man was distressed in bed. I went in and offered to read him a bedtime story. He chose one my mother gave him for Christmas. One you can only read with a flashlight. Like I said, my mother is a winner. When we finished, I asked if he wanted to read another. He did so we chose The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. A gift from my mother many years ago. Little man said, "Oh yeah! They have this at my library school." He then proceeded to tell me the plot of the entire book. And then I read it to him.

It may have something to do with being snuggled up to a six year old who teaches me daily how to give and how to be less selfish, or it may be something else, but during that last little part where the tree is recounting everything she's given to the boy and how she has nothing left to give, I started crying. Not like tearing up, like full on crying. And how at the end, all she wants is to be with the man. Tears, I'm telling you. And we talked about how the tree was happy when she was making the man happy, but how she was most happy when they were together. 

And I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere, but if nothing else, I'm grateful to have a mother who taught me how to love good books, and I'm grateful for the little man in my life who gets to benefit from her influence. I'm also, naturally, grateful for bed time snuggles and the purity of goodness he brings into my life so effortlessly. 

P.S. If you're interested in being a mother like my mother, may I refer you to the following book, which she used to teach us all how to read.  http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Child-Read-Lessons/dp/0671631985


  1. Love your ability to read and share your talents with so many!

  2. I own that book because of your mother, actually. Also, I am conflicted about The Giving Tree, so it is nice to hear some love for it.