Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gabie the arborist

Fallen Monarchs by William Bliss Baker

This painting is for Gabie because Gabie loves trees (and by love, I mean he is obsessively attached to them with as much devotion and defensiveness as he has displayed in the past for pandas and penguins). His favorite trees are aspens but he pretty much loves every kind. Here's what it's like living with a 7-year-old arborist.

At breakfast one morning, he informs me, "This better not be REAL maple syrup. I won't eat real maple syrup because it's just plain mean. How would you like it if someone stuck a tube in you and sucked out all your blood?"

Another day we're reading a sweet little story about a girl reading to her father. Her Dad puts a log on the fire and Gabie's instantly all emotional, teary-eyed and everything. He wants to know what kind of tree they had to cut down to make that log. And where did they get it from? Next it's "How would you like it if people cut all your cousins down for paper and then came back for you for logs?" (he's a pro at the "how would you like it?" guilt trips).

We're on the freeway this week and we pass by a truck hauling lumber. Gabie gives me an angry look and I know exactly what he's thinking. "Hey, it's not MY fault!" I have to tell him. "Stop glaring at me."

We are thinking about adding on to our house this summer (cause we're all squished in here) and every time we talk about it, Gabie's the one crying about the 2 aspen trees that we'll have to chop down to make room for the new garage. (I can't wait to see how he responds when he finds out about all the trees that will have to give their lives for the 2x4's we'll be using).

But there are advantages to having a tree-lover around. When we went to Las Vegas a few weeks ago, I was horrified by all the nudity and blatantly sexual images on the strip. For several blocks we even drove right next to one of those huge advertising trucks with a line of women dressed in nothing but a strategically placed print banner. I didn't know if I should cover all my boys' eyes or just ignore it all and hope they didn't notice (yeah, right). But the whole time, Gabie was in the back just going crazy over each and every palm tree he saw. There are naked women everywhere, flashing neon signs, the Eiffel Tower, The Grand Pyramid, fountains going off, Vegas in all its glory and Gabie can't get over how cool the palm trees are. Gosh I love that kid.