Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Giving Tree

So, I had this lunch in mind for Shel Silverstein's day. Something exciting and awesome, celebrating two of the most amazing books I've ever read - Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. These two books of poetry had a deep impact on my entire childhood. For me, the works of Shel Silverstein were full of silly wonder and deeply profound thoughts, worded in such a way that spoke to me. 

I borrowed Where the Sidewalk Ends from the library probably more than any other book ever. I've read these poems to every one of my children as infants, though they likely don't remember. Some I can still recite from heart. 

I would curl up under the covers often, letting the words flow over my young brain. "If you're a dreamer, come in..." A perfect welcome, an Invitation to wander through the pages. Most of these two books narrated my childhood years. 

But back to the present! So, I had this lunch in mind, right? I mean, a blog hop celebrating the best poet ever, I was all over that! But you know what they say about the best laid plans... Life just kind of got in the way. Got down to the wire, the last day before it needed to be done, and I woke up thinking YES! Today it WILL get done. And then my phone melted and I discovered that the rabbit hutch had been accidentally left open all night during the first heavy rainstorm of the season, resulting in a very wet and unhappy bunny, and the dishwasher started leaking, and did I mention that my freaking phone melted?! And then I had to go to work. So now it's midnight, and the super detailed, hand painted homage to my favorite books of poetry is not going to happen.

Instead of honoring my childhood, I decided at the eleventh hour (erm, 10:57, actually) to look to the present and chose a book which makes me think not of being a child, but of being a parent: The Giving Tree. The tree loves her boy so much, and she gives and gives and gives until there is literally nothing left of her, and then she gives some more. Meanwhile, the only thing the boy gives her is companionship when he wants something. But for her that is enough, because she knows that he loves her and she wants to take care of him. Seeing him happy makes her happy.

To me as a child, the take-away message from this book was that the tree was a sucker and the boy was selfish and ungrateful. How can you take-take-take like that and never give back?! As an adult, that has not changed, but at the same time... I can understand it. Sometimes, as a parent, you give and give and give and it's not because you expect anything back. You do it because you love them and you want them to be happy. Seeing their faces light up with joy is the best kind of return. Sometimes they may seem ungrateful, and they whine and fuss and complain, but you still know that they love you. And even though they don't always show it, you know they do appreciate you, and all that you do for them.

This lunch is completely gluten free and nut free, and contains:

Glutino gluten free crackers
Laughing Cow cheese
Schar gluten free shortbread cookie
tiny cup of mustard
grilled hot dog
sugar snap peas
provolone cheese

All tucked into an Easy Lunchbox container. To keep the food from shifting, I folded a napkin and tucked it in on top. If you're curious, it only took about twenty minutes to make the lunch, including grilling the hot dog and cutting up the veggies. 

There is a lot more wonder ahead!
Click the button to coninue on the hop to Beneficial Bento and see the awesomeness that is waiting for you there!

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  1. Lovely lunch and I enjoyed reading your post. :)

  2. The Giving Tree is one of my favorites. What a touching tribute!

  3. This is a beautiful post and lunch Jessie!

  4. Very beautiful post and lunch. I really enjoyed it. You're so skilled! <3

  5. Love your comparison to parenting, Jessie. Very true. I love the broccoli tree branches!


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