I have a very special tree in my garden. Actually, I have three. But let me tell you about the first one.
For the birth of my first daughter, a dear friend of mine gave me a small peach tree to welcome her into the world. Amongst all the gorgeous clothes, soft toys and nursery items she received, this tree was unique. I remember thinking my friend was so clever to give a gift that would grow alongside my daughter. And it has.
This spring, my daughter’s peach tree flowered – a sign of fruit to follow. Over the spring, we had the loveliest time watering the tree and observing the natural life cycle of plants. Being three and a half, this was the first year my daughter really understood that this was her tree and a very special gift she had received.
As summer approached we began to see the first signs of life for the season. The peach tree had fruited last year but the early signs for this year were much more abundant. Checking in on the tree has formed part of our daily ritual for the past few months. My daughter has learned about life, about nurturing something, and about taking responsibility for a living thing. The experiences this tree has given us both have been plentiful.
We have watched the tree form flowers, which then shed to form small green balls. And these green balls have grown and grown and changed from beautiful shades of amber to pink, and finally to full-sized ripe delicious peaches! This year my daughter’s small tree produced 15 juicy peaches.
My daughter enjoyed the last of the peaches recently, freshly picked from the tree and still warm from the sun.
I look forward to sharing the same ritual with my other two daughters – they received an apple tree and a mandarin tree from the same friend.
I have “stolen” this idea a few times and given a fruit tree as a gift for different occasions. But I especially love it to celebrate new life. Something living; that will live alongside them for several years. It also keeps me on my toes in the garden, as I want to protect them and nourish them, just as I do with my children…
Have you ever received a unique gift for the birth of your child? I’d love to hear from you…