give away the giving tree

i’ve started looking at a site called librarything. for anyone who grooves on books, this is a wonderland of cataloging books you’ve read or own. i’m having a lot of fun picking books i’ve read and making a list (as if i have any time to do any of this, of course. what did i do before the internet, i wonder? sleep? watch TV? interact with actual people?)

but i just came upon the giving tree by shel silverstein. and i can stay quiet no longer. someone bake me a cake with a file in it, for i know the library police will surely be by to take me away to library hell (where everyone is stuck reading proust or nietzsche.)

everyone gushes about this amazing book as if it’s the best thing since sliced bread. but on behalf of all the mothers in the world, i would like to point out that there is nothing good about teaching children that they should expect their loved ones to throw themselves into the fires of martyrdom, all to satisfy their own underdeveloped desires. i do a hell of a lot more good in my children’s lives as a person who remains alive; and occasionally, their requests threaten to knock that balance off-kilter. to keep myself alive, there are times when i simply have to say one terrible, horrible, no good word (with apologies to ms. viorst, who i love): “NO!”

if there is anyone out there who can actually convince me that this book actually has merit, i’m all ears… anyone who hasn’t died from cutting off her arms to satisfy her child, that is.


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