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What if there was a book called The Giving Mom? What would it be about? This week, in church, we learned about how The Giving Tree is kind of like God, giving you what you need when you need it. It was a really wonderful way to think about it. After church, Mickey and I started thinking about how much it relates to us, as parents.
You can order this book on Amazon or find it at a local bookstore (I personally love to give it as a gift, but I also love to have it in our home.)
Once there was a tree….
and she loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come and he would gather her leaves
and make them into crowns
and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired,
he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree….
And the tree was happy.
We love our children like this. Every day our babies would come to us for safety, love, nourishment, protection. We provided basic needs and we still do. They would soon learn that we love to play with them, tickle them, read to them… we play hide and seek and when they are tired, they can sleep in our arms.
These kids love their mom… very much. And their mom was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone. Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy.”
“I am too big to climb and play” said the boy.
“I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money?”
“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I have no money.
I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy.”
What won’t we do for our children? They need new clothes and new shoes. They want new toys and fun trips. We love them, and so we provide for them.
…But the boy stayed away for a long time…. and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy
and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy.” “I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy. “I want a house to keep me warm,” he said. “I want a wife and I want children,
and so I need a house.
Can you give me a house ?”
” I have no house,” said the tree.
“The forest is my house,
but you may cut off
my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy.” And so the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time. And when he came back,
the tree was so happy
she could hardly speak.
“Come, Boy,” she whispered, “come and play.”
“I am too old and sad to play,”
said the boy.
“I want a boat that will
take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat?”
“Cut down my trunk
and make a boat,” said the tree. “Then you can sail away…
and be happy.”
And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy
… but not really.
Our children grow up. They go to college and move away. They take jobs and they leave jobs. They come home and bring their children. We still will give them what they need. We love them and want them to be happy.
And after a long time
the boy came back again.
“I am sorry, Boy,”
said the tree,” but I have nothing
left to give you –
My apples are gone.”
“My teeth are too weak
for apples,” said the boy.
“My branches are gone,”
said the tree. ” You
cannot swing on them – “
“I am too old to swing
on branches,” said the boy.
“My trunk is gone, ” said the tree.
“You cannot climb – “
“I am too tired to climb” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.
“I wish that I could give you something…. but I have nothing left.
I am just an old stump.
I am sorry….”
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy. “just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening
herself up as much as she could,
“well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.” And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.
In the end, our children will know that they always have a home with us. They will always be welcome in our arms. They will always have an ear to listen, a hand to hold, a heart to love them.
Yes, we are the giving parents. I’m sure that you are, too. We do what we can to make them happy. We love what they love and we smile when they smile.
We instill values in them that will make that a possibility. We will remind them of our favorite times, tell them stories and sing them lullabies. We will love them, forever… until we have nothing left to give them, but it won’t stop, because we will give them a place to rest: in our arms & in our hearts.
You can order THE GIVING TREE here. It is a beautiful reminder of how much we love… and are loved.
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