– by Mary May Larmoyeux –
Do you have any special memories about trees? I remember playing under two huge Magnolia Trees that stood in the front of our childhood home. We made houses under those trees, crushed the seeds to make “Magnolia Perfume,” and even climbed them more than a time or two.
Both my father and Jim’s dad enjoyed walking with us in their yards, pointing to trees that they had planted when we were younger. Although my parents moved after I graduated from college, Jim’s remained living in his childhood home. I used to think how amazing it was that a towering oak had been planted by his father when Jim was just a young boy.
Now, years later, I don’t just think about how amazing it is that acorns become massive shade trees. I have watched this happen with my own eyes. Jim and I have taken pictures of our grandkids by those very trees.
Now I understand a little more what must have been in my father-in-law’s heart when he’d point to a tree and say, “Why, I planted that tree when Jim was a boy.”
Here are a few ways that we can be intentional about making family memories with trees:
- Plant a tree with a child or grandchild and take a picture. When you print the picture, date the back of it and put it in a special frame. Each year, if possible on the same date, take a picture of your child/grandchild in front of the same tree and put the new picture on top of the old one in the frame. It could be amazing to see the growth of not only your child/grandchild but also the tree!
- A friend of mine said that her grandfather planted a tree for each grandchild and had them carve their initials in “their tree.” As the tree would grow, they would each check on their special tree. What a great memory-maker.
- Linda told me that when she planted two small Oriental Crape Myrtle Trees, she intertwined them so they would grow together as one. I think it would be great for a married couple to do this on an anniversary … with the kids present. It would be a visual reminder that “Mom and Dad” or “Grandma and Grandpa” are one.
- We could read the following poem to our children/grandkids and discuss it with them. Ask them, “Why do you think that “only God can make a tree?”
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
For long distance grands, we could have a special tree sent to their home and ask their mom or dad to take a picture of a grandchild by it. We could also plant a special tree when the grands visit. We could e-mail or mail grandchildren the poem about trees by Joyce Kilmer, and chat with them about it on the phone or Internet.
What ideas do you have for making family memories with trees?
Post and photo copyright © 2009, 2015 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Are you looking for more ways to connect with your grandkids (kids, nieces, nephews …)? Check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart by Nancy Downing and Mary May Larmoyeux. This handy book helps generations learn from one another. Available in paperback and as an ebook. Learn more.