The Emily Tree: marking life’s milestones

The Emily Tree: marking life’s milestones
The tree I grew from a tiny twig

When our oldest was in kindergarten they sent her home from school with a branch from a pine tree, a cutting, nothing more than a twig, really, with a few needles sticking out. It had a note, if I remember correctly, comparing the twig to our young children: something schmaltzy about growing tall and strong and sturdy.

That was nearly twenty years ago…

I’m not sure how much success the other parents had with their tree cuttings or if they even tried growing them at all. But my thumb was fairly “green” back then so I soaked the little branch in rooting solution, then planted it--- first in one pot then, as it got bigger, another. It shared a place on the back patio of our old house. I jokingly called it The Emily Tree.

When we moved to our new place, I transplanted the sapling to a sunny spot in the backyard. The years flew by and today it’s seven or eight feet tall.

We put our house up for sale this January. We closed on it this morning. The new owners of our home will obviously never know the history of the pine tree in the sunny corner of their new backyard. There’s really no way to tell them. I thought about dropping them a note, giving them the backstory, expressing my interest in it if they decide to uproot the tree I grew from a twig. But then, I think, maybe it’s time to let it go.

Our oldest graduated college last Saturday; she’ll be leaving home soon, transplanting herself somewhere else for a life of her own. The schmaltzy note from kindergarten turned out to be right: like that little tree branch, our daughter indeed grew up strong and sturdy, too.

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