It’s the first book my dad bought me. I remember staying home sick from school one day because I wanted to go to work with him. Back then my dad had like 5 jobs to support my family and one was cleaning homes. I begged and begged to wash the windows because the squeegee looked like fun. He let me do a window and I read “The Giving Tree” over and over again on a porch until I could read it so fast that I didn’t have to pause to turn the page.
“Mom. Can you read “The Giving Tree”
“Of course.” I respond with warmth because I love the book so much.” As I read, he finished the sentences because we read it over and over again. I have tears streaming down my face.
He says,”and the tree loved the boy,” in his loud, strong voice,”very much! Mom! Mom! You be the giving tree, and I’ll be the boy. You say, come, eat my apples!”
And we reenact each page and I’m laughing and crying,”hey, but don’t leave me and take all my apples and cut my trunk. How does the tree look?”
“The tree is happy, but but but she looks sad.” He says empathetically. “Mom, but I want to a boat! Can you give me a boat?”
“No, you say, ‘I don’t have a boat.”
“Ok,” I say in my high motherly giving tree voice, “but I don’t have a boat. You can cut down my trunk and make a boat. Then you can sail far far away from here. And you will be happy.”
He hugs me with that smile where his whole face smiles. And I cry.