In 1964, Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" was published. As a mom, you've read it. You've related to it on some level. You've cried at the end. I did. Every mom who has loved her family has been "the tree" at some point.
And ever since the book was published, there has been controversy over its interpretation. Over the years, I've grown to dislike the message of the book on a number of levels.
Don't get me wrong; I love Shel Silverstein's works. He was brilliant and his stories resonate. Perhaps that's why this one bothers me to the core.
As parents, we give life to our kids. Hopefully, we give them nourishment, a roof over their heads; we encourage their hearts; we encourage their minds; we support them through victories and defeats, and we give them the tools to become adults.
From all of that, we also should teach them to appreciate what they have, to give back to others and to simply say thank you. These are the roots of a strong family tree.
Apples don't fall far from the family tree. If we have provided all the things necessary for it to grow, our family tree should provide protection and sustenance. We shouldn't be stumped if we give our kids strength. Only we can provide the seeds to make that happen.
After all, it is our job to teach them to grow some.
(dedicated to my daughter Gwen who is a tower of strength and most certainly her own orchard)