The Trees DO Have Voices
Our littlest one is becoming a little man. While I am excited for this, it saddens me all the same. Mothers never want their babies to grow up. It like ripping their heart out and giving it away. It’s difficult to digest. Our Number Seven had told me the other day that his Lorax poster was falling off the wall. When he pointed it out, I seen that it was hanging by one corner. Because it was sort of tilted (I hung it that way to be “cool”) I said “Oh, honey, I’ll fix it later.” This time, I believe my procrastination bit me in the rear.
Last night he brought me this poster. “Mom, it finally fell. I don’t want it anymore. Here.” I looked down and saw his little outstretched arm holding a tattered poster, worn with years and the Lorax looking at me with his old eyes. “Oh, just put it in my office chair.” Off he went. As quickly as he disappeared into the office, he went back to his room. I didn’t think anything of it really. Until I seen the discarded poster sitting in my office chair when I went to get ready for work. Then it hit me.
My babies are growing up.
Let us have some background on this poster shall we? OK. Our Grumpy Smurf is now sixteen. She was the first to experience the brilliantly written story by Dr. Seuss. “The Lorax.” It was with her that I perfected the ability to read this and several others with passion. When she was still an arm baby, I ordered a set of Dr. Seuss books which were to be delivered in installments of 2 per month until one decided to cancel or the whole set was complete. Randomly, when a classic (such as The Lorax or The Sneetches) came, it would be a larger book. The order I filled out promised a full-sized poster to come with The Lorax book. It was one of the first larger editions to arrive and, as promised, so did the poster. It was carefully folded to just smaller than the page sizes and inserted into the book for protection. All of the books were hard back. We still have every single one of these books. Every child in America has been exposed to Dr. Seuss at least once in their life. For most, good memories. (Ah, minor digression there.)
Back to the poster. Upon receipt, I immediately hung the poster in her little room. It was the biggest thing in there and full of color. Just like the book itself. She loved for me to read to her when she was tiny and often looked at the pictures when we were not cuddled up together reading. Wow, thinking about reading to the Smurf seems so long ago. Just about the time she started reading our Number Eleven came along. As the Smurf grew older and “outgrew” the Dr. Seuss stories, the books migrated to her brother’s room. Along with the Lorax poster. By this time, it had several layers of tape and a few holes in each corner and wear beginning to show where the poster was folded but nothing that was seen by just looking at it on the wall. We were renters until our baby was about 3 so it was hung and rehung many times during its life with us. Number 11 liked his Dr. Seuss books not only to be read to him but he liked the pictures. He held onto the collection a bit longer than our Smurf did. He was into picture books and that was his version of “reading.”
When we bought our house, I hung the Lorax on our baby’s wall. Since then, he moved to a room down the hall and this room is now my office but it was carefully hung in that room as well. Until yesterday…. I think when I get done with this I am going to make him sit with me while I read the Lorax to him. Possibly one last time. He wont like it but I will. He is a reader now and does not have time for me to read to him. That’s OK. As I sit here and gaze upon the beloved poster, the wear along the folds is terribly pronounced, there is tear about six inches from the top along one of the folds and some of the tape has begun to turn yellow with age. The Lorax himself looks ragged as ever. Then again, he always has hasn’t he? My chair is next to a window which looks out at the trees near the house. My Cal always said that the trees talk to him.
Trees. They DO have voices. I like being near Cal when the trees “talk” to him. He nearly looks at peace and one with the world. He knows a great deal about trees too. He has opened my eyes to identifying different tree types. I have learned how to identify mistletoe in the winter, squirrel nests, bird nests and even how woodpeckers do their thing when you hear them rat a tat tat on a tree for their breakfast. Another wonderful thing he showed me was that, you don’t need the weather man to tell you when it is going to rain. Just look at the trees. They will turn their leaves up toward the sky in a cup like fashion to catch the rain. Next time you can “feel” it about to rain, look at them…the trees…you will see the underside of most of their leaves. Then, on a dry day, compare. You will see the leaves out turned and you can see the shiny top sides of them. Amazing things trees are. Maybe I am a little attached to that poster more because Cal and his conversations with the trees. No, he does not talk back to them but he listens. You can see the serenity and awe on his face when they do. Its beautiful.
Maybe the trees do have voices. Oh, the stories they could tell. In the mean time, I am going to get that poster framed and hang it in my office. It reminds me of a happy time with each of the kiddos as well as reminds me of the love of my life. While he does not speak for the trees, the trees do have voices and they talk to him. My Cal. My version of the Lorax. (Though a younger version. He is not nearly as old as the Lorax! Ah, but I digress…again.)
**Takes her morning coffee on the deck to watch the trees talk. MUCH better than the morning news.Cheers!**
What do YOU think?