So, although I’d been complaining in an earlier post about the homework my daughter’s teachers had been assigning to the parents…I mean, the kids… I have to revisit my resentment some in light of the unexpected gifts that one of these assignments has had for us.
The (dreaded) Tree Project is the assignment to which I am referring (any mother who has had a child attending our local junior high school in the past 20 years or so will be familiar with this). After I heard some of the other moms talking about their efforts to help, like: “I spent 2 1/2 hours one Saturday afternoon driving my daughter around to get leaves!” for example (after I’d walked my daughter around the school yard for 15 minutes, got a mosquito bite, and called it a day), I was shamed off the bench and into the woods to help find leaves.
Toward this end, I asked a couple of work colleagues if they had any interesting trees in their yards that they’d be willing to ravage for leaves, nuts (extra credit!), bark, (same!), berries (same!)…you get the idea.
Well. They sure did.
- My friend Jody produced Pin Cherry leaves and then took a chance and loaned us a treasured little book, Advice from a Tree by Ilan Shamir. Last weekend we read this book together on the couch (with the TV off!), and talked about what it meant to “Be content with your natural beauty” and to “Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes“…oh yes, and to “Drink plenty of water“…even trees know this!
- My friend Sheri produced a Beech Tree leaf with the coveted beechnut to go along with it. She also sent Izzy and me a copy of the tree poem, which I am planning to read with her this weekend.
- My friend Doreen brought leaves from a Quaking Aspen tree. Izzy now has all of her pages filled in her Leaf Project book, which was her goal. The gathering is done!
So, these are the tree gifts: a book, a poem…and remembering what a great gift good friends are. 🙂