Why I’m Choosing The Giving Tree For My Nursery Theme.
Updated: May 9
I won’t know for a while whether or not I’m having a boy or a girl because of the COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting non-emergent care, but I know two things: I know that my son will be named after my brother, André, and that I have wanted to be a mother all of my life.
Currently, I own three copies of The Giving Tree. One of them was read to my brother, and then later, to me. It is worn, scribbled in, and the binding required repair...which I joyously attempted (and was successful) in fixing. Another, I bought because I knew that my future child would need a fresh copy to reduce more destruction to my original, and a third because it was the 75th anniversary edition of the book. Did I need a third copy? Probably not, but I couldn’t leave it in the store.
I’ve always looked at that book as a not so subtle tale of the selfless nature of parenthood. In the book, the boy grows into a man and takes, unceasingly and without thanks, from the tree who loves him. If you leave it at that, how could anyone love that book? Right? One mother wrote about her disdain in this blog and then closed the comments. I consider her opinion to poorly informed because...what if there’s more there there?
In my opinion, The Giving Tree is a veritable goldmine of opportunities to shape your child into a thoughtful and caring human being, using the text to inform and shape their worldview into one that allows you to give to and sacrifice for the ones you love, grateful to and for them for having done so, while acknowledging the fact that it’s not always done with ease (at an appropriate age.) This, typified the time my brother existed on this Earth. He was born, and he was loved. To love us as children required sacrifice, time, love, tears, and then, the agony of losing the boy you loved.
Further, it is when the boy—who has grown into a man wearied by a Earthly pursuits has nothing left but little stamina—finds his way back to the tree that the two are both happy, and authentically.
So, should I be gifted with a boy, my boy. I will love him. And I will read this story to him each birthday so that the boy will know he was loved until the day there’s nothing left, but a stump.
Pinterest has been helpful in gathering some ideas for this nursery and I’m finally excited!