We have tried to move in the past, but there was an uprising; the children rebelled. Our kids love our neighborhood, and they adore our neighbors; they like being near Rolland Moore Park, and they love riding their bikes on Spring Creek Trail. But with no basement, only three bedrooms, and only one living space, our wonderful little home seemed to be getting smaller and smaller (especially as our girls get bigger and bigger). My wife and I didn’t want to move, either, but we did think the girls might like their own rooms and more room to spread out with friends. Yes, they said, these things would be great, but no, not one of the three wanted to move. No way, no how.
While there were other reasons our girls wanted to stay put, the biggest may very well be the honey locust tree that sits in our backyard. Our girls don’t just love this tree; they adore it; they cherish it. When the girls were little, they loved it because they could enjoy summer days in the yard without being too hot, and they loved it because they had fun on the one little swing that dangled from a branch. As they got just a bit older, that one little swing turned into a long rope swing, a trapeze bar, and rings. And now a few years later there is also a rope ladder going into the tree and a play set from which they launch themselves on the rope swing.
When we moved into our home, we liked all of the trees in our yard – the ash trees, the oak, the spruce, the little crabapple trees, and yes, the honey locust. Over the years, though, our affection and love have grown for the honey locust; it has become part of our family. When our youngest fell from a swing and broke her elbow I almost felt bad for the tree; I wanted him to know it was ok and that it wasn’t his fault.
A day is coming when our girls won’t live in our home, and there may even come a day when my wife and I decide it’s time to move on. When/if this happens, my wife and I will have beautiful memories of our girls playing under, around and in this tree, and our girls will remember fun and contented childhood days. There will be many other reasons to look back on these times fondly, but there is no question when the day comes to reflect and remember, our honey locust tree will be part of the story.