Friday, December 4, 2009

The Parable of the Old Apple Tree

I'm chuckling a little to myself as I post this.

I can tell I'm hormonal.

Bear with me.

I'll be back to chicken stories and silliness soon.

You all know Aaron, right? My delightful 'apple of my eye' nephew?

I have to say that about 99.9% of the time I have no trouble with that kid at all.

His mother would say that she has trouble with him 99.9% of the time.

I don't go there.

Well, the other night right after supper, we got into it.

He was disrespectful.

I won't tolerate it.

We don't raise our voices in this house. Never have. I wasn't raised with raised voices.

It's REALLY uncomfortable to me.

I don't fight well.

I use alot of words like 'Fine'. 'Great'. 'Right'.

I actually gave an almost 14 year old a time out.

The next morning when he came in, I talked to him about the old apple tree in the back yard.

(That's not my tree in the picture, sure wish it were!)

I planted it, never pruned it, never sprayed it.

The apples are gnarly, buggy, and inedible.

I need to do a rejuvenation pruning.

It's on the list.

I told him the reason I'm hard on him is because I don't want him to be like the old apple tree.


Bearing no fruit, or bad fruit.

I told him that is why I 'cut' things off of him, so he can grow up straight and strong.

I promised him that it would be easier to straighten up now than later.

I told him that being disrespectful was one of the ugliest things I knew.

He really seemed to listen.

Then I told him, 'I'm really not trying to make you miserable, Aaron, I'm just trying to help you grow up."

He then told me that the punishment I gave him (loss of iPod) was making him miserable.

Then I told him that it wouldn't be a normal childhood if he weren't miserable.

We laughed.

We always laugh. We always love.

I really try not to get all a fluster when I see what I consider 'bad behavior' from Aaron.

I think about all my bad behavior.

And I'm almost 50.

Love really does cover a multitude of sins.

Today, I just wanted to really encourage you to love your family.

With all of your heart.

And love your chicken birds too.


  1. Dear Aaron, Yes! This is for you. Hug your Aunt. Squish your Aunt. Smooch your Aunt. Make coffee for your Aunt. Bring her scones, warmed with a pat of butter. Make her something for Christmas that only you could dream up. And then go back and hug your Aunt. Now, do it again.
    Trust me.

  2. You are one awesome aunt! How blessed he is to have you!

  3. Aaron is so lucky to have you, and I'm sure he knows it :) Awesome post, and reminder. -Tammy

  4. Lovely post,so heartfelt and true.
    Lucky Aaron & lucky Aaron's Aunt to have the priviledge of this young man in your life.
    You are making a difference.

  5. Maybe we're all hormonal, you just made me cry. It's one of those days ...
    A beautiful post, a great comparison and I hope you don't mind if I keep the apple story in my own arsenal. Hugs to you both and have a wonderful day!

  6. Truth served straight up. With humor and love. Ain't no better way. Aaron is wicked lucky to have you in his life! Analogies are hands-down the best way to get thru to kids, IMO. Heck even Jesus used them to teach really earthy lessons. Good enough for Him, good enough for me. And Aaron :)

  7. Aaron is so lucky to have you! You are a wonderful aunt and even if he might not understand it all now, he will as he gets older.

  8. Just keep talking Jayme, peck..peck..peck and eventually it does get through. He sure seems like a good kid and he can't help being a teenager. Hormones are the reason we do what we do, say things that we shouldn't and in general act like poopy butts! Love the apple tree analogy! Have a great weekend sweetie and you'll have your sweet boy back as soon as the moon turns!
    joy c. at grannymountain

  9. The fact that you've won his heart years ago, makes you effectual. I love it when we win their heart and they listen. My kids know if I can't reach your heart on a matter, I'll reach your back end. You are such a good mom Jayme, Aaron thinks so too! We all have someone that is precious to us and when we disappoint them, it just kills us inside, we would rather have had a spanking. You my dear friend are that precious person, but not just to Aaron, but to all that cross your path. See ya soon. Ra

  10. Oh dear Jayme, talk about a tearjerker. Tears are rolling down my face as I am sitting here and writing this.

    Aaron your beautiful nephew is so very lucky to have you as you are to have him.

    Speaking as a mother everything that you wrote about I feel in my heart.

    I am so glad that I found your blog.

    Thank you Post Tribune.


  11. Jayme, you made me cry! Aaron is a good kid and a great deal of it is because of you.

  12. Jayme, I had an Aunt much like you. She was always there for me because Mom worked. Even though my Aunt worked it seems she was just there for me. And for some reason, I was her favorite of all the niece's and nephew's. She never once raised her hand or voice to me but when she talked sternly to me, it broke my heart for some reason. Her talks did more for me than any yelling or spanking ever did and I grew a respect for her that I had for no other. When her hubby passed, I was the niece she wanted to come live with. That was like a great prize I had been awarded. So..keep talking to Aaron as it does work. You two have a remarkable bond that only comes from above. You aren't just a typical Aunt to him. Hormones are tough even as a teen-ager. :)
    No one had the effect on me that my Aunt Ethel did!

  13. Please pass the kleenex. He is quite lucky to have you in his life and you are just as lucky. Fabulous lesson for all of us. Thank you.

  14. That brought tears to my eyes - what a neat story - full of love, there's no doubt about it! I think the tree parable was perfect! Have a great day!

  15. Oh, Jayme. I laughed and cried with this one. You're both so fortunate to have each other. These lessons you're teaching him will stay with him forever.

  16. You are such a wonderful, positive, thoughtful, wise influence on Aaron. He is so lucky to have you in his life.

    My words to Aaron are the same as Queenbuffness.

    I don't have chickens but I do love the sweet birds in our yard!

  17. Beautiful post! And as the mom of a 16 year old and a 12 year old...AMEN Jayme! :) He is lucky to have you.

    I have long thought that when kids hit the teen years we should all have a second set of "parents" to help raise them. Really, I'm not kidding! :) Parenting is tough business!

  18. What a wonderful story- I do believe if you talk (to) children and not (at) children you will get much more in return from them. He is very Lucky to have such a wonderful Aunt like you and you are very Lucky to have such a great Nephew. Teenage years are very trying at times. It sounds like your doing a Great Job!

  19. I too have an "apple of my eye...light of my life" niece Sarah. My sister (her mother) was generous enough to share her with me. She is now 26 years old and in her second year of law school..she has been a joy as I am sure your nephew is now and will be...keep up the good work.

  20. is not is called love...

  21. How lucky you two are to have each other. When my Maddie was a freshman I wished I had someone she could go to besides me because those were hard times filled with hard feelings for both of us. I can't think of a better thing than to have a child surrounded by adults that love them and want the best for them.

  22. They hate you for it at the time. But they thank you for it later. I know. Been there. My girls are very respectful. And both are now in their thirties. Kids have to know there are limits. Because if you don't teach them; someone else inevitably will. And it won't be nearly as pretty. You're a good person, mom-to-all, and woman!

  23. Jayme, I can totally relate since I have two teenagers myself. It's really rough at times. Aaron will realize that what you are doing for him is all because you love him, if not now than someday. Oh, and I went to Aldi's for the round pretzels and all they had were the twisted ones. Are you sure you got them there? Cynthia

  24. Great post. My daughter, who is a therapist, says it makes her nervous when parents scream at their child and child back to parent. She said she wasn't raised that way and it's not natural.

    It shouldn't be the way we communicate with each other. Yelling at each othe should not be our love language.

  25. Hi! I found you via Suzanne's Chicken blog linky. I have to say I ♥ your blog and have added you to my must read list. I especially enjoyed your coffee roasting post, and will be checking out those links. I showed your post to my Sweetie and he was actually interested in the idea of home roasting. Thank you for sharing your helpful ideas and tips. I would love to know you in person and have you as a friend!
    Greetings from Texas!

  26. I also forgot to add that I truly enjoyed this parable post. Love it!

  27. I'm printing this and tucking it in the baby's room somewhere. priceless words jaym, priceless

  28. Love this...
    I am going to start 'early' on my seven year old.
    I am all about correlations...parables...whatever gets through. And he can handle it. He truly remembers about the times we 'talk'. I ofen ask him a question related and he says " I know,I know, the ____"
    I bought a great Aesop's Fables book at a thift store for 10 cents and have been working through them.
    Thanks for the reminder to keep on it :)
    ~Andrea in NH

  29. Oh thank you all so much for your sweet wonderful comments! I wish I had the time to individually respond to each one. You've all encouraged me so much.

    I'm the lucky one, that is for sure.

  30. Cynthia....I didn't want to think I forgotten you....and to everyone else here....I will get back to respond as soon as I can....

    I did in fact find the pretzels there at Aldi...they were considered a 'special purchase' and not by the other pretzels. Maybe you can ask there?


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