The Giving Tree

“And the boy loved the tree…. very much.
And the tree was happy. “

Shel Silverstein

So last meeting, we had this activity in our EDR 121 class. We discussed about “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. After reading about it in class, Teacher Hazel gave us a bunch of Engagement Activities in relation to the Giving Tree.

We were asked to write something like “Echo “<3’s” ______.” A lot of jokes were thrown here and there about it being the Season of Love since it’s February and it would be best to put a name of a special someone there. But instead of doing so (not that I’m a killjoy or anything), I instead chose to put the name of my little brother.

My little brother is truly special to me. Just to give you a little bit of background, I have been an only child for 17 years until my father passed away and my mom eventually had another partner and when I was 19, she had bore a child with her partner. Thus, my little brother was born. I named him Samuel David named after two Biblical characters — David, the greatest king of Israel and Samuel, the prophet who anointed David to become king. Or you can just call him, SAMDAVE for short. Haha. 😉

The reason I gave him those names was because my brother was born with Down Syndrome and also with an imperforate anus. This was largely due to the fact that my mom did not know she could still get pregnant during that time and she didn’t know she was pregnant until the child was 3 months old. She was taking medication for Diabetes during that period and realized it very late that she was indeed bearing a child.


So enough with that very dramatic background. But truly, having another child in the family from being the only child for 19 years is a different experience. Despite challenges and troubles faced during the early years, it proved to be very fruitful for me to have him as my brother. Repeatedly, he has always been the joy of the family. Despite cognitive challenges and late development, he proved to be uniquely intelligent and irresistibly sweet in his own ways.

So instead of being so cheesy and romantic with another person during this season, I chose to dedicate this particular blog post to him.

Now, instead of taking photos of each of the pages of the activity, I chose to share photos of my little bro instead (I can just submit the paper copy anyways. Haha).

Nevertheless, going back to the Giving Tree illustration, it touched me in a way that I was able to relate to the tree relative to my brother. How I can be like the tree — giving, giving and giving. Never tiring, truly happy, always loving. It may be unreciprocated vocally and in the same manner, but those things don’t matte to me. The important thing for me is to show that I love him and will always be there for him, through whatever experiences we may have.


And of course, also, I was able to relate it to some of the relationships I’ve had growing up. I’ve encountered several friends that I thought to be lasting only to find out they have never treated me as such and only viewed me as “the-guy-you-can-always-go-to-when-you-need-something-but-never-treated-as-a-friend.” But that’s for another story. Perhaps I’ll have some chance to share it in class or in another blog post but who knows? 😉

How about you? Have you read the giving tree? How has it affected you? Would be glad to know some of your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂


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