Now as Friday’s go, people are usually relieved to reach a week’s end. Last Friday was no different, as the week had been particularly stressful as week’s go.
So last Friday my 3.5 year old son was sharing a moment with me while I was doing a quick “hat” change (going from work day to evening play). I was mentally reviewing the week’s stress and previewing the upcoming week’s tasks when, in an attempt to gain my attention, he pointed to a painting of a tree, one I’ve had for ages that hangs in our bathroom.
He said, “look mom, it’s the giffing twee! (no typo – this is what he said, but what he actually meant was “look mom, it’s the Giving Tree”).” I had checked out “The Giving Tree” at our local library a week earlier, and it has since become my son’s favorite book. Clearly, he has been affected by Shel’s book.
More wisdom from the mouth of babes. I knew that I was failing to see priorities clearly in that moment, and was too caught up in the remains of the day (and those of future days) to consider what (who) was in front of me, and what was passing me by as a result of my own self-centered interests.
I was convicted in my tracks. I stopped all my thoughts, everything I was doing, knelt down beside him and put my arm around him so we could look up at the big tree painting together.
“Yes,” I said, “that IS the giving tree. How amazing! Thank you Michael for reminding me. I never want to forget this moment. Ever.” He glowed with contentment.
I knew who my giving tree was that day.
Who is your giving tree today?
*The Giving Tree, written by Shel Silverstein in 1964, is a book about a tree who loves a little boy, so much that she does a very surprising thing for the little boy.