23 November 2011

The Giving Tree: V and Co.

It's funny how I feel like I have met and known all these amazingly talented women who have participated in Once Upon a Thread.  Miles apart, yet I feel like they could be my neighbor, you know?   I think it's so fun how someone's personality comes out in their writing.  Vanessa (the V of V and Co.) is that girl who is the life of the party with her quick wit and sense of humor.  She doesn't take herself too seriously and puts everyone at ease.  Her post today shows a little more serious side, but beautiful, nonetheless.  Quilter extraordinaire among a plethora of other talents, Vanessa is always up to something fun and ingenious.  Welcome, welcome Vanessa!

hi there no big dill readers! i am truly honored to be here today to be a part of this wonderful once upon a thread. i was asked to pick a book.
i picked the giving tree by shel silverstien
you either love or hate this book.
i love it.
there's a lot of takes on this book. a lot of negative ones, and a lot of positive ones as well. i want to show you my take on it:
 i view this story as a mother's (parent's) love and the child taking the things and teachings she can give to him to launch him and make his life good.

"once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy..."
"and the boy loved the tree...very much...and the tree was happy."
the boy would take her leaves and create wonderful things with it. they would play hide and seek. he would play king of the forest
the boy would climb the tree and "swing from her branches"

up to this point i view the story about a mother nurturing her child with the basics, like love, protection under her shade, feeding and playing. much like we get to do when our children are very young. we as parents are in our children's lives constantly. as it should be. they don't have the means to figure out on their own yet so we have to teach and do a lot of it for them.

but as the boy gets older the boy finds love, and leaves the tree alone a lot.

i don't view this as sad, i view it as a good thing. (heck man, i hope my kids find love and marry their best friend like i did.

the child is learning to be a adult, trying his legs out in the world...still needing the occasional  physical closeness (aka coming home from college, or even coming home for a visit with the fam) and of course the emotional support and love of the parent that is always there to give.

and the story goes on:
the boy takes apples for money. the boy takes branches for a house, the boy takes the stump for a boat.
this is where i think i view it quite differently than most who are critics of this book:

instead of viewing it as a child that takes and strips the parent of "things", i view this giving from the tree as the lessons given to the child. the tree gives the tools and the knowledge on how to be on his own. the tree gives the boy all the teachings on how to make money, how to build a house of order, and how to take leaps of faith and sail away.

the boy now has all the teachings that mother had to give and is able to live on his own, and be successful and happy and hopefully... come and visit sometime.
i know my mom would love for me to be in the same town, state, heck same time zone as her. i know she's happy for me and loves that i am doing well as i raise my kids with my spouse...but she misses us.

as i will my kids when they do the things i am doing now.

in the end the tree says she has nothing left to give. 
the boy still finds things the tree is giving him even when she feels she has nothing left to give.
i think adults find solace in parents even when they can not provide as they used to before.

i think this book is a wonderful book of the true meaning of love. selfless in giving, and giving the tools to children so the child can become a person who can find love, success, and happiness.

so the project i am including is a inspired subway art of the basics that we are teaching our children.

i believe the things on your walls influence your kids. it's one of the "teachings" i am giving my kids. and the things on your walls, whether intentional or not, i think makes some kind of impact.
i put on my subway art important things to remember on a daily basis. of course there are so many more things like "brush your teeth" "wipe well" kidding but not really...but i wanted some of the real core important ones on there.
these things are good things to remember no matter how old you are. and i hope to be teaching these things through my actions as well as my words...

because in the end if my kids are happy, and able to figure out life with the teachings and examples i give to them while still under my roof, that will definitely make me a happy tree.

okay that's it for me thank you katy for letting me be a part of this. :)

It's beautiful and poignant, Vanessa, thank you.

Don't forget that tomorrow is ThanksGiveaway Day!  All day long I will have some amazing giveaways going on.  I'll keep them open through the weekend in case you happen to get distracted by a large golden bird on your table tomorrow ;).  Then tune in Friday for my final guest for Once Upon a Thread! 


  1. I love this post. That book is one of my absolute favorites. I loved it as a kid. And I love it now. Beautiful explanation of it. That's the way I see it, too. :) The printable is great!

  2. I just got this book for my daughter and I love it. I first read it as she was asleep and I sat there crying, because it was such a beautiful and simple story.

  3. I love this print! But the English major in me has to point out that 'remember' on the second to last line is spelled wrong. I hope it's easy to fix. I love V and Co!

  4. Bah!!!!!! Okay I'll fix that!!! I can't believe I didn't see that!! Thanks will fix it soon!


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