|"And the tree was happy...."|
My favorite time of the day with my boys is story time. We snuggle into bed and read a couple books together. I set my littlest boy on my left and my older boy on my right. Typically, the larger, brightly illustrated books are winners and engage them both in rapt attention, but today we read, 'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein. I had never read this one out loud to them before and found myself with so many mixed emotions by the middle of the book, I had to compose myself in an effort to finish it. This small story brought me to tears as I reflected on my actions growing up with my parents, and then becoming a parent. I remember the love that my parents have given and continue to give to me, and now, give to my boys. I feel ashamed at my selfish ways and reactions to their love. I understand so much more now, and am humbled by the knowledge of it all. I have never experienced a love so great that I didn't expect anything in return, until I had my boys.
Although Silverstein's story has some differing interpretations, I identified with the selfless giving tree and understood its happiness when the boy came back, and to give him all that he desired. Another layer can be added by staying connected to my children. Fulfilling all aspects of mind, body, and spirit for myself, sharing what I know and what I have with my boys, in hopes they will sustain and fulfill themselves. Attention, time, and discovery between each other is the blessing, creating moments of real love. Giving of yourself should feel good and when it is true, it nourishes and sustains us through difficult times in life.
Right now, I can only imagine my boys around me, wanting and needing me. Although, I crave for solitary moments in my day, just to breathe, think, shower, or go to the bathroom. I know that this time is a gift, it will change and evolve into something different. As a new parent I have and will make mistakes. I try to focus on love, discipline, support and guidance for myself, so I will have the tools to share the most important things with them when they are ready to receive them. The precious moments I have with them now will soon be few and far between. Already, my older son isn't hugging me goodbye when I am off to work, as he is too busy to tear himself away from play. I am happy he is excited and curious to discover, and enjoy all life has to offer, but I am grateful I have another little baby to adore for another couple of years.