Grateful to give
The Giving Tree continues to shapeshift into different stages of my life.
As a child, it broke my heart - such a undeserving boy.
As a teenager, it disappointed me - surely, I would never be like that, Shel!
As a parent, it understands me - I'm grateful for the giving.
Even as a child reading this classic, I knew this kid was trouble. How could he? How dare he?
What a user.
So completely unaware of the incredible life force bending, begging, willing itself to be a part of his every move. Tortured by his lack of attention. Dismayed and alone as his heart, his boy, tromps past each milestone of life without nary a glance.
And yet it still gives.
Still straightens its weary stump. Desperate to give to this shriveled old man looking for a place of rest a comfortable spot in the woods.
Like a mother.
Like a father.
We'll take the hits. We'll gladly watch from the kitchen window, yellow curtains pulled slightly to the left, just so we can get a tiny glimpse of the growing up.
We're grateful for every crumb. Devouring the delicious, tiny moments as they are dropped from messy toddlers-turned-teenagers and emotional teenagers-turned-adults.
And when they return to you for those moments of rest, recharging, rejuvenation - we'll turn our bodies to boats.
Always at the ready to hollow out a space for their troubles to float away on.
Always donating our arms for uplifting tree-houses of safety.
Always an ear to carve their sweetheart's initials on.
Always grateful to give.