‘Did you just see that? Is anyone watching this? Mom just stripped down and gave me her tank top.’ I love that she gets it. She was in awe actually.’

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“You guys if the Giving Tree isn’t the most accurate book ever, I don’t know what is.

If you don’t know the story The Tree gives its leaves and branches and by the end of the book, he’s given everything to The Boy. It’s left as only a stump.

This morning I handed this child the actual shirt off my back.

She was in awe actually.

‘Did you just see that? Is anyone watching this?’

Mom just stripped down and gave me her tank top,’ she said with a laugh as she put it on then layered the sweater she really wanted to wear over the top.

We are the Giving Tree for our kids in so many ways.

A few nights ago we ran out of brownies before Sam could have seconds. Mine was still on my napkin so I offered it to him.

Kate replied, ‘Sam if you take that Mom won’t even be a stump. You’ll be digging the actual stump up out of the ground.’

I love that she gets it.

But what none of them can understand yet is in both these cases the giving to them gave me actual joy.

Before I had kids, I thought the Giving Tree was the saddest book. The boy just takes and takes and takes.

I had it all wrong.

The tree just gives and gives and gives.

There’s a big difference.

In the giving, the tree uses up all the gifts it’s been given and in return it’s so happy.

There is such beauty in the giving when then giving is done out of love.

The giving means love.

The giving teaches our people to give.

This week I’ve seen so many ways my kids have recognized the giving.

And I’ve seen ways they’ve given to each other and the world.

They see us giving.

They feel our love.

And they carry the torch, giving back and giving forward.

The Tree was onto something my friends.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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