the mom-ing tree
If you have not read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein STOP READING NOW, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200! ……. I’m kidding, but you should read it. As a kid, reading this book seemed like one of those daunting tasks: a story with a deeper meaning - something that was beyond my grasp, something (dun. dun. dunnn.) important. I felt like I should understand but I couldn’t come up with anything deeper than, trees supply us with apples + money + shade + if we keep cutting them down we will be left with nothing. (Pretty deep, right?!)
Now that I’ve grown up + become a mother, I would be willing to bet that Shel Silverstein was a mother in a past life! Since we can never know for sure, we can only make the educated guess that he wrote it for a mother, because the similarities between the two could have only been written by a man who had great respect for women or the mothers in our society.
TO ALL THE MOM-ING TREES OUT THERE:
TAKE TODAY TO REMEMBER ALL YOU DO FOR YOUR SEEDLINGS. HAVE A HAPPY SATURDAY + SAFE WEEKEND,
~ Melissa ~
There was a boy + there was an apple tree. The apple tree loved the boy + the boy loved the tree. The boy spent his days playing with the tree. The boy would lay in the grass below the tree, enjoying the shade she provided, the tree gave the boys apples to eat + leaves to play in; the boy loved to play King of the Forest with his leaf crown + the tree laughed + they were both happy. The boy would climb the tree, swing from her branches + play hide + go seek.
As all little boys tend to do, the little boy grew up. He stopped wanting to spend all his time with the tree; the little sapling was starting to bud + had other interests. But one day, the boy came back, the tree wanted to play but the boy did not; he needed money + since the tree didn’t have any money to give, she told the boy to take her apples to sell for money so that he would be happy.
The boy left with the apples + stayed away for a long while. When he came back to the tree she happy + she wanted to play but the boy did not; he needed a boat to sail away to explore the world + since the tree didn’t have a boat to give the boy she told him to cut down her branches to build a boat so he would be happy.
Years later, after growing + learning from his explorations, the boy came back to the tree. When the tree saw the boy she was happy + ready to play but the boy was not. He needed a home for his family + since the tree did not have a home to give, she told the boy to cut down her trunk to build a house so that he would be happy.
The frail old man returns to his beloved tree. The tree sees the boy + she is sad, she is too old to play + has nothing left to give. When the boy reaches the tree he tells her that he just needs a place to rest, he sits on the stump + the tree is happy.
In the beginning, we supply our little ones with more than just transportation from point A to point B, “friends” to “play” with, a general food supply, and our full attention at any time of night. As time goes on, you start to realize that you are responsible for growing this little person into a big + mighty oak tree. You play with them, provide them with life skills that you hope they take with them into the real world + do your best to keep up with them today while staying alive so you can continue trying not to die from exhaustion tomorrow.
In the middle our little babies grow into teenagers, then into “adults” until they finally become “Adults”. During these years the relationship between Mother Tree + little sapling can become dangerous to navigate. There are times, out in the open ocean — when it is smooth sailing + times when your boat gets smashed into smithereens as it crashes into the side of a rocky cliffside while trying to make it through narrow passageways. But, the mom-ing tree has a love so strong that she gives until she has nothing left to give, she only wants her sapling to be happy + to have enough water + sunlight to grow into the mighty tree she knows he can be.
Now, let me stop here for a moment + say that I have only experienced the beginning + the middle; not both as a Mom-ing Tree, it might surprise you to know my Mom-ing Tree is still trying to survive the middle with me! I have not been to the end, but I think the hardest part of being a Mom-ing Tree is knowing that one day the roles are going to be reversed. In the end, your great big mighty oak will need somewhere to sit. You will need to intertwine your roots, stand tall + become the Mom-ing tree for your Mom-ing tree, finding what she needs, even if it is a place to sit, and giving her your all because it will make her happy.
And, in the end, don’t you think she deserves to be happy?