Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Blubbering Book

IN THE NEWS: Man sleeping in dumpster gets picked up with trash. Read more HERE.

I read to my kiddo every night for at least a half hour. It's one of the things I look forward to at night time.

So I went to the library with her school recommended reading list and saw that The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein was one of the books on it.

I remember The Giving Tree fondly from when I was in elementary school so I eagerly suggested to my kiddo that we check it out. She agreed.

I couldn't wait to read it to her, hoping she would love it as much I did. Well, I began reading it to her and I actually started to get a little choked up. My hubby wandered into the room as I was reading--thank goodness--because I literally started to cry and was blubbering and wailing so badly I couldn't read the last page!

Needless to say, my family stared at me like I was insane. (I probably am--a little) So when I finally blew my nose and was able to talk, I tried to explain to my little one why the story is so beautiful. "Don't you see?" I said. "The tree loved the boy so much she gave him everything she had."

Well, that did it. Because then my little one began to cry. (Not half the wailing I had, but enough tears to get a hug from me and her daddy)

I never cried over the book when I was young. But I think something struck me in this book differently now that I'm a mother. Basically the tree (like a mother) wants the boy to be happy and has an unconditional kind of love for him no matter how the boy responds. It also kind of struck me as sad that once the boy grew up he never seemed to be happy and always came back to the tree when he needed something. Very sad story, actually.

But that kind of went over my head as a child.

We're reading Stuart Little now. Much more upbeat and another favorite of mine.

Have you ever read The Giving Tree?
Or better yet, has a children's book ever made you cry?

20 comments:

Chicki said...

I never read that one, but it's amazing how good memories from our childhood can suddenly come rushing back and fill us to overflowing.

Jody Hedlund said...

I've read it too, but it's been a while! I bet it would have a different meaning now that I'm an adult.

And that's so cool that you're reading to your daughter! What an excellent way to build in her a love of reading!

MJFredrick said...

It's been awhile since I read it, too. The one that gets me every time (and my class ALWAYS tries to make me read) is I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Can't get through the second page.

I bought another, not long ago, that had me SOBBING in the teacher's lounge (sometimes they have book sales in there.) I don't remember the title and I don't know where it is, but it's a mother saying she wished she knew it was the last time, each time she did some milestone in her child's life, like carry him, or tuck him in. Man, I'm crying just thinking about it.

Jessica said...

I don't remember a children's book making me cry. I'm pretty sure I read that when I was younger, but probably didn't like it because of the boy. LOL Guess I'm not so loving. :-)

That's so sweet that you started to cry and you all had a family hug. :-)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I've read this too, but I can't remember my reaction. That's powerful writing, though, if it made you cry!!! Sign of a great meaningful book.

Marty said...

The story behind Shel Silverstein and "The Giving Tree" (as told by one time priest Brennen Manning) is remarkable if you can find it.

This book is moving true, but the one book that ALWAYS has me in tears is "Pink and Say" by Patricia Pollaco.

Kristen Painter said...

The Education of Little Tree is about the only book EVER to make me cry.

beth said...

The Giving Tree always made me mad, not sad! Even as a child, I hated that little boy who took and took and took and took. He seemed so greedy to me!

Cindy said...

Aww, that kind of made me tear up. It's wonderful that you do the reading thing every night. I used to love Shel Silverstein when I was younger.

T. Anne said...

When I was a pre-teen I read Alice doesn't live here anymore. I'm not sure how I got my hands on that book...oh wait all those unsupervised library visits! ANyway that shocked me and made me cry.

JStantonChandler said...

I love the story of The Giving Tree (and yes, the boy in it makes me mad!). It's a lovely story of love and sacrifice.

Most of the books I read make me cry in some way. I even tear up every time I see a preview for the film version of Where the Wild Things Are!

~Jen

Debora Dennis said...

I haven't read that one - but I can't read "Guess how much I love you?" without tearing up.

It's a mom thing. :)

Stephanie said...

Don't even get me started on the Fox and the Hound. I cried everytime. That, and the kids movie, Savannah Smiles. UGH. I just recently watched Savannah Smiles and cried AGAIN. Needless to say, Bryan made eternal fun of me!

Jill Kemerer said...

Yes, I can relate. I don't even know the name of the book, but a cat dies and all three of us were choking on our tears!

MJFredrick said...

Jill, do you mean The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst? I cried on that one too. Seriously, my students LOVE it when I cry. Not that it's, you know, hard to make me cry ;)

MsSnarkyPants said...

I've never read the Giving Tree. It sounds realllllllly sad! I don't know if I could manage!

Trisha Pearson said...

I remember I had that book as a kid but I can't remember my reaction. I do, however, remember balling my eyes out in kindergarten over a book the teacher read. I can't remember the name, but it was about a duck (or goose) that got left behind. I cried and cried thinking of it all alone without its mother. Animal stories always get me!

raemgilbert said...

My kids have this book called, I Love You Stinky Face. Don't know why it is but the book gets me.

I have never read The Giving Tree, but we've read lots of other books. Like, Charlotte's Web, Little House on the Prairie, Old school house books, and lots of others.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I'm with Beth on this one. The story made me more mad than sad.

The Clown of God by Tomie De Paola choked me up so much that I never read it to my son. He has a soft heart like me, so didn't want to make him cry. Shelved it til later.

Marcy said...

Definitely "I'll Love You Forever". When the man is rocking his mother at the end...boy that's a tear jerker. My daughter love it too.

I've never read "The Giving Tree" I'll have to make a trip to the library!