a. | 25 | queer | oklahoma
child of libraries and dusty books.
I’ve always hated the book The Giving Tree, because to me, that is never what love is about. Here! Take my fruit! Take my trunk! Take everything that is a part of me because I love you. Every time I would read the book, it seemed like such a fucked up notion. “That isn’t what love is” I would vow. Love shouldn’t ask you to reduce yourself to nothing. Love won’t demand you to change or fit who they are at the moment. Over time though, I did learn that love gives. While I find the boy selfish, I now understand the tree.
Today was downright awful at work. My students are acting out lately in ways that are emotionally taxing, state testing is making our schedule crazy, and the fact that I may not have a job next year is sitting heavily on my mind. Walking into track practice I got a text from my best friend, asking if she could call. I knew she knew I was at school, and would only call if it was important.
I said yes, and sat on the cafeteria table talking to her while she cried. At the time, her burdens were far more important than mine. While I listened, I gave her the little bits of me that had not been taken throughout the week. I gave her the last of my branches, the spare fruit that I was surprised I still had left.
While I gave her the best advice I could, I kept thinking of The Giving Tree. Giving her my time, my dwindling energy, I realized that I was giving up the last of myself, just like the tree had. It was then I understood. Love can give everything of itself, it can become nothing, but only if love trusts. Here! Take my branches! Take the last of my fruit! It is okay because I know you will take good care of them. You realize they are the best parts of me. I trust you and know that, unlike the selfish boy in the book, you will give back my best parts when I need to feel whole again. Because that is what love is: love is reciprocal, love gives and takes.