trees, tears, and elevators

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

We've gotten into a pretty solid book routine at bedtime.  I read Jack two books and then tell him it's time to get into bed.  Then, he cons me into "a last one in bed."  So, we read a third book while he's under the covers.  I kneel on the floor and lean in with the book.  (He's got a tough life.)

The other night, he insisted on a book from the top shelf of his bookcase which incidentally, is where I put books that we will grow into.  I have vintage hardbacks of things like The House at Pooh Corner and Robinson Crusoe.  I look forward so much to reading those with Jack, but never want him to grow big enough that it's time.  (Freezing time.  Isn't someone working on that?)

Anyway, the other night, Jack insisted on "that one!  that tree book!"

He was pointing at this:



I tried to talk him out of it.  He insisted.  We sat on the couch and read it.

About halfway through, I remembered why my first instinct had been to try and read something different.

It's beautiful and heartbreaking.  It's simple and complex.  It's sweet and devastatingly philosophical. 

(In short: I was sobbing.)

Jack looked up at me and said, "Don't cry, Momma."  

(SOB)

I was recently talking to a friend who isn't sure she's ready to have a baby.  She's scared of losing herself.  And I totally get that.  I mean, it's a real fear.

In response, I said this: 

It's like, all your life, you've been living your life and things are awesome.  You believe that you've taken the elevator to the top floor -- house, marriage, family, pets, etc.  Life rocks.  
But then, you have a baby.  And you realize that there's another floor above you.  So, you take the elevator one floor higher.  And when you get there, it is SO MUCH BETTER than where you were before.  And so many people you know are there!  And you wonder:  How the hell did I ever think that what I had before was the best it was going to get?  THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER.

She teared up.

I didn't mean to make her cry.  I was just sharing what I feel to be true.

Shel Silverstein didn't mean to make me cry.  Hell, maybe he did.  I'll never know.  Either way, he was sharing what he knew to be true.

Ain't life grand?

Hope you can enjoy some truth today.  Even if it makes you cry a little.

Talk soon,
Heather

P.S.  Just to end on a happy note, wasn't Shel Silverstein a bad looking dude?


5 comments:

  1. Ok so apparently I haven't read this in a while and I need to because I didn't remember any of it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh gosh, I started refusing to read that book at least two years ago. When Eli asks for it, I make Scott read it and sometimes even leave the room. SOB!!! Just reading this post about the book made me tear up!

    Sweetest, saddest, bestest book ever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are such a good friend. I love the advice you gave. I am ashamed to say that it has been so long since I've seen/read The Giving Tree that I need a refresher before I will understand. Hmmm...off to find the Cliff Notes, for now...!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this post! We actually read The Giving Tree this week. Though, I had it on the bottom shelf, forgetting the heaviness of the message. It's one of my absolute favorites; it is simply beautiful! I was surprised Jude sat through the entire book, and seemed to enjoy it. When we got to Shel's photograph, Jude said, "Who dat?!" I said, "That is Shel Silverstein, the man who wrote this book, and many other great books and poems." To which Jude giggled and said, "That's silly, Mama."

    Your response to your friend who is (rightfully) scared to enter Motherhood made me cry! What a beautiful analogy.

    Love you!
    Jewels

    ReplyDelete
  5. There's the reason I haven't bought this book yet.

    ReplyDelete

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

trees, tears, and elevators

We've gotten into a pretty solid book routine at bedtime.  I read Jack two books and then tell him it's time to get into bed.  Then, he cons me into "a last one in bed."  So, we read a third book while he's under the covers.  I kneel on the floor and lean in with the book.  (He's got a tough life.)

The other night, he insisted on a book from the top shelf of his bookcase which incidentally, is where I put books that we will grow into.  I have vintage hardbacks of things like The House at Pooh Corner and Robinson Crusoe.  I look forward so much to reading those with Jack, but never want him to grow big enough that it's time.  (Freezing time.  Isn't someone working on that?)

Anyway, the other night, Jack insisted on "that one!  that tree book!"

He was pointing at this:



I tried to talk him out of it.  He insisted.  We sat on the couch and read it.

About halfway through, I remembered why my first instinct had been to try and read something different.

It's beautiful and heartbreaking.  It's simple and complex.  It's sweet and devastatingly philosophical. 

(In short: I was sobbing.)

Jack looked up at me and said, "Don't cry, Momma."  

(SOB)

I was recently talking to a friend who isn't sure she's ready to have a baby.  She's scared of losing herself.  And I totally get that.  I mean, it's a real fear.

In response, I said this: 

It's like, all your life, you've been living your life and things are awesome.  You believe that you've taken the elevator to the top floor -- house, marriage, family, pets, etc.  Life rocks.  
But then, you have a baby.  And you realize that there's another floor above you.  So, you take the elevator one floor higher.  And when you get there, it is SO MUCH BETTER than where you were before.  And so many people you know are there!  And you wonder:  How the hell did I ever think that what I had before was the best it was going to get?  THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER.

She teared up.

I didn't mean to make her cry.  I was just sharing what I feel to be true.

Shel Silverstein didn't mean to make me cry.  Hell, maybe he did.  I'll never know.  Either way, he was sharing what he knew to be true.

Ain't life grand?

Hope you can enjoy some truth today.  Even if it makes you cry a little.

Talk soon,
Heather

P.S.  Just to end on a happy note, wasn't Shel Silverstein a bad looking dude?


 
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