Monday, September 7, 2009

giving tree??

i know my next post was supposed to be "deals" but this caught my attention. i was reading this post over here and i thought it would be interesting to get your opinions. reading through the comments on the post, most people agreed how they loved the book. am i a heartless person? i have never really cared for the giving tree. i have always thought the boy was selfish and ungrateful. the only way i almost appreciate the story is if i think of the tree as God and His love for us. on a parent/child level, i think the book is unhealthy. i think too many parents allow themselves to be completely consumed by their children in a really unbalanced way.

also in the comments, several people mentioned the book love you forever. although this book is kind of cute, it mostly just creeps me out. the refrain of the book is something like, "i'll like you for always, i'll love you forever. as long as i'm living, my baby you'll be." (don't quote me-we don't own the book.) you have to read it to really understand. but i think parents are too attached to their children in our society. my aunt, who teaches love and logic, calls these parents "helicopter parents" because they are always hovering over their children, "protecting" them from anything and everything that could happen to them. (reading the comments on amazon for these two books is VERY interesting.)

really, the proper order of things should be God, spouse, then children. right? and although i will be the first to admit that sometimes i put my boys before my spouse, as i rule, i really shouldn't. i think that's where so many of the fissures that slowly erode families begins. i've known many parents who turn away from the Church because it won't condone the behavior of their wayward adult children.

i don't think my parents were perfect, but even as a teen i appreciated my parent's clear message-basically, we'll always love you but there are some things we will not tolerate. and most especially, that if i turned away from God and his Truth, than i would be turning away from them. it was my decision to make. and although i know their hearts would have ached, i knew they were serious. maybe it was because they had eight kids, so a few of us were dispensable ; ) but really i knew it was because they truly understood the role and gift that children are. it was a very good thing knowing that by no means did the world revolve around us. we were entitled to nothing. and maybe that sounds harsh, but it really actually made me feel more loved, because i knew it was a real love.

hmmm. that turned into a bit more than i had planned for. how about these to lighten things up...

he commits to the requested emotion so well.

morning sun and bed head.

getting ready for the garage sale. i put $.25 on this critter and still couldn't get rid of him.


  1. I haven't read The Giving Tree in ages so I'll have to review it before I comment, b/c frankly I just don't remember the story well enough. However, I really like this post. A lot. I echo your sentiments. Well said.

    I have a picture in one of my albums on FB from summer of 2008 of Gemma with a garage sale price tag on her head (a la my hubby). The look on her face makes the pic especially priceless. Just FYI, check it out if you have the chance.

  2. I never thought of The Giving Tree in any way other than an analogy for our relationship with God, but I can see it from your perspective as well. And I completely agree about the "helicopter parents" thing (I took the L&L class from your aunt when Melanie was 1 - very enlightening and we're just now getting to start to put it into practice) Treating our kids like that would be a disservice to them and anyone else that would come into their lives later on.

    And it's a good thing Matt didn't know you were selling boys for 25cents, or we might be +1 child now.

  3. I TOTALLY agree about your review of the Giving Tree. I have often thought when reading that book how SAD it is that the tree doesn't tell the boy that he's a selfish little turd! We don't read that one to Ira. I agree, the message it sends is a little ridiculous unless viewed as a God/sinner relationship. Great post!

    We too learned L&L from Marcelline and in case you hadn't noticed, we have plenty of opportunities to "practice" it. (In fact, just today, Ira got to go to Grandma and Grandpa's in his underwear with his clothes in a bag.) It was a pretty proud parenting moment, let me tell you!

  4. reply to comments: garage sale gemma is cute, matt can have ben, and good job on streaking ira : )

  5. I love your posts. If in doubt, a picture of your cute kids will always be a crowd pleaser :)

    The Giving Tree was in a recent book order and I couldn't decide whether to buy it or not. I alwasy thought it was a bit boring...though easy to read for a young reader. It made me sad though I remember that.
    I know what you mean about these new trendy mushy love books. There are so many more than there used to be. It begs the question: Do parents buy these books because they love their children more than in times past? Or is it because parents are busier these days and they need more tools to 'fill the gap' in the parent-love department?

  6. I don't remember being very fond of "The Giving Tree" - I'll have to go refresh myself now. But I do remember one of my younger sisters having the other one you mentioned, and thinking it was weird.

    But my favorite part of this entire post was "and although i know their hearts would have ached, i knew they were serious. maybe it was because they had eight kids, so a few of us were dispensable ; )" Awesome.

  7. I had to comment about "I'll love you Forever". That book TOTALLY creeps me out.What I cannot figure out is how anyone can read it, consider it "sweet" and not think that a Mom strapping a ladder to the top of her car, driving across town to climb in her grown son's window and rock him while he's asleep is JUST SO STINKIN WEIRD!!

    On another note, my 3.5 year old son and I were having a horrible time recently...he's was so disobedient and disrespectful that I didn't even like him most days. We've done some hard work on consistent consequences for bad behavior lately and have had a major turn around...hang in there!

  8. Monica just sent me the link to this post because I just wrote my own take on the Giving Tree on Sunday. Here's the link if you care to read it.
    I absolutely agree with your review of these books. I don't own "I'll love you forever", but a friend got it as a baby gift and I thought it was sappy, to say the least. (I always thought it was a book on potty training, based on the cover)
    Anyway, it's good to know I'm not the only "heartless" person in the world who things The Giving Tree is a bunch of crap.