Monday, October 25, 2010

"The Proud Cherry Tree"

Every mom thinks her children are the cutest. Mine certainly were. I've always loved this picture of Kari taken on a Des Moines River sandbar in Jester Park. I had driven Doug's 'Ecology Club' members to the Park that day as a treat for all the trash pickup work they had done.

Sometimes when I am thinking about my granddaughter, Katrina, my niece, Kristi, or my daughter-in-law, Shalea, I wonder how they do all they do. They are working full time, raising children, taking care of homes, involved in their communities...then I remember that I once did the same things as well as furthering my formal education.

I began taking some college courses when Doug and I lived in Mt. Vernon. I continued taking some at DMACC when Kari and Preston were little. One of the classes was a Children's Literature course. One of the assignments in that class was to write a children's story. One of the stories I wrote was: "The Proud Cherry Tree".

It was a tale with a moral about a cherry tree which thought it was the best tree in the orchard. When a wind storm came along, the other trees told the proud cherry tree to bend with the wind. It would not. It was too proud. It would stand up to the wind. It would show them how brave it was. The wind blew and blew. The other trees kept shouting: "Bend with the wind." There was one final huge gust of wind. It toppled the proud cherry tree. The moral: learn to give a little when confronted with something you can't change.

We were to take turns reading our stories in class. I thought it would be clever to take my little girl with me, hold her on my lap and read my story to her. I dressed her in the cute dress and pinafore she'd had her three-year-old photo taken in and off we went to class.

Needless to say, it was a disaster. Kari wouldn't pay attention to the story. She didn't care about the proud cherry tree! She only cared about wriggling around and looking at everyone and everything else in that room and asking when we could leave.

Wasn't it W. C. Fields who said: "Never work with animals or children"?

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