The Giving Tree

“Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy.” – Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree


Ever since Owen was a small child, he has always loved books.

Owen doesn’t just look at the pictures and pretend to read…

He becomes a part of the story…

He becomes a part of the book.

Earlier this morning, while he was pulling all of the books off of his shelf, I decided that we were going to try something new today. Instead of just reading his books, we were going to pick out a special one and turn it into the theme of the day.

After much consideration… Owen decided on “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

For those of you that knew Bryan, Owen’s father, you are probably thinking that this particular book was a very interesting choice on Owen’s part…

and here’s why…

When Bryan was little he loved Shel Silverstein. Not only did he love his stories and his poetry, but he loved the way that he would illustrate. Bryan’s favorite book was “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and when he passed away we wrote … “We will see you again where the sidewalk ends” on his headstone.

So… after the initial shock of the book that Owen had chosen wore off, we decided to spend the day doing arts and crafts and working on our “giving” manners. Owen and I printed off an image of a bare tree and decided to give the tree beautiful leaves.

At first…. Owen carefully dipped his fingers into the paint and created leaves on the bare branches.

After a few minutes of being meticulous… Owen went crazy and got out his paint brush and water cup. Owen’s tree quickly went from bare to looking like it was in the middle of a bad tornado.

After a little convincing, Owen decided to work patiently on a tree with me and we created our own version of the Giving Tree.

All in all today was a huge success and we got to spend the day using our imaginations and talking about Bryan. While Owen did not fully grasp what the word “giving” meant… he did spend the day

dragging the dog around the house “giving” her a walk…

shaving his crayons down to stubs, “giving” my bedroom a makeover…

and of course

driving his mother to crazy town… “giving” her his undivided attention and love.

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