Welcome to a place where we can share ideas about grandparenting, especially ways to pass spiritual values and family stories to the next generation.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart.
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Co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Friday, September 21, 2012

Making Memories With Trees

Friday's Grand Connection Fun
 by Mary May Larmoyeux

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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.

My dad planted a little sprig of a tree in front of my first home. Today, it's gigantic! I drove by the old house not too long ago and took the above picture of it.

Both my father and Jim's 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, 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.

Often when I walk on the side of our house I glance at a tree that Jim planted when our children were small. I can still envision the kids standing by that tree in their colorful shorts and T-shirts.

Jim and I are taking 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."

Our Friday's Fun idea today is to be intentional about making memories with trees. Here are a few possibilities:

•Plant a tree with a grandchild/ren 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 grandchild/ren 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 the child/ren and tree alike!

•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 and that they grew together as one. I think it would be great for a married couple to do this on an anniversary ... with the grandkids present. It would be a visual reminder that "Grandma and Grandpa" are one.

•We could read the following poem to our grandkids and discuss it with 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.

—Joyce Kilmer

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 we could chat with them about it on the phone or Internet.

What ideas do you have about making memories with trees? (I'd really appreciate it if you'd share them in the comment section.)

Have a great weekend,

© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Photo © by Mary May Larmoyeux


Anonymous said...

Planting trees with grandkids is a great idea. Our great-grandson, Caleb, planted a tiny Pine tree with me and when he was 5 years old. When he visits from Colorado each year he asks to see how the tree has grown. I wish I had taken a picture of him with his tree each year but will certainly do so on his next visit. - Rita

Mary May Larmoyeux said...

Thanks for sharing, Rita. If you take a picture of your great-grand the his Pine tree, I'd love to see it.