Monday, June 27, 2011

GBE2 Challenge: Image of the Money Tree

I would like to thank my blogging group. Because of them, my younger son has been motivated to put down his electronics and attempt some gardening. You see, the challenge this week was to write about the image below. I won't lie, it has given me a mild case of writer's block. After all, with the cost of caring for a person with autism rising to more than $3 million over the course of that person's lifetime, one can see where a money tree would come in handy. But how to make this point properly?

So, I sat, staring at the image and ignoring my kids for as long as I could, when in walked my younger son.

"Hey!" he cried accusingly. "You always say that money doesn't grow on trees!"

"It doesn't" I answered.

"Well, then why is there a picture of one there?" he asked, pointing to the evidence of his argument.

"Somebody created it." Give me a break kid. "It's not real."

"Well, then how would they know to draw it if they haven't heard you say it?" he probed.

"I'm not the only one who says it. Everyone says it." I countered.

"Well," he persisted, "if enough people say it, there has to be some truth to it! I bet it works! I'm going to try it!" And with that, he ran out of the room.

If only it were that simple. Oh, to go back to being eight years old and carrying the world in the palm of your hand!

"Mom!" he shouted from the other room. "Do you think paper or coins would grow faster?"

"Experiment." I said, making a mental note to review the life cycle of a plant with him again since he obviously did not listen to that homeschooling lesson this past spring. Who was I to squash his quest for knowledge? This particular project reminded me much like the book "The Carrot Seed" by Ruth Krauss.

In "The Carrot Seed," a little boy planted a carrot seed and tended to it daily. Everyone told him it wouldn't grow, but he didn't listen. He stayed true to his conviction, and, in the end, the carrot grew to be a product beyond anyone's wildest dreams!

Who was I to tell my son that his plan was rubbish? Sure, it defied logic, but...wouldn't it be great if he actually grew a money tree?!! What if those coins actually did sprout?! WHAT IF??!!

Well, I'd be selfish, that's what. After exercising property rights over that tree and placing my son on a strict allowance, I would garden like nobody's business! I'd try to divide it and grow a forest of them.

You see, I'm a mother that would pay anything so that her nearly-ten-year-old could learn to talk.

I would buy the best medical care possible so that I wouldn't have to hear him cry another day in his life.

A sensory gym would be great in this house, thank you, and, while I'm at it, a beefed up security system would be great because our older son just won't stop playing in the windows.

Both children need additional occupational and physical therapies. Social skills are in desperate need of some counseling.

Our older son could use some help learning daily living skills, and if anyone could help the kids to keep their clothes on their bodies on a more regular basis, by golly gosh, I'd be giddy!

Compression vests, weighted vests, bouncing balls, chew tubes, platform swings, hammock swings, bench swings, crash pads, fidget toys, special diets, listening therapies, language tapes, ear plugs, head phones, electronics, sophisticated toys, baby toys, failed toys, investments in perseverative interests...

My older son just blew through one of his (tiny) loaves of gluten free bread--in one sitting. It cost nearly six dollars. That is almost the price of the Target t-shirt that I'm wearing.

I will openly admit that we spend more on groceries to fit the gastric needs of our kids than we do on our mortgage each month.

Yes, that money tree would come in handy in this house.

And, then to think: Autism affects roughly one in every 100 children. Those money trees sure could come in handy to a good many households right about now.

After selfishly using my money tree for my kids, if I could pluck but one sapling from my forest and grow another field of money trees, it would be my hope that at some point in the future, research would find an answer and a cure so that children and their families would no longer have to suffer at the hands of autism.

:) All this from my son, who decided that he could grow his own money tree.


  1. great blog. I really enjoyed your take on this weeks topic. ps please let me know if that tree ever grows! :)

  2. This was a great post!! If only we could all look at the world through the eyes of a child before the world had spoiled our outlook and made us cynical!! Loved reading this because it was if I was sitting across from you listening to you talk! Brilliant!!


  3. Do you remember that song that goes, "Lemon tree very pretty, but the fruit of that lemon tree is impossible to eat."

    Same with the money tree, lottos or whatever, we have to keep our feet on the ground and live life as a reality, with all its difficulties. Our children, our families are what we have to concentrate, and a few blog posts as well!

  4. That's cute. My 15 year old son needs motivation too. Yesterday I dragged him to the gym. Now he wants to go back again. 1 pt. for mom! =D

    --Diana Jillian

  5. Lovely post. Very sincere and real. And you are not selfish at all. You are not thinking in you, you were thinking of your sons. You are certainly a great mom.

    Great post!

  6. I do love the idea that let your son experiment, that is a great approach in education! And keep the good spirit!

  7. JUMP HIGH LIL love this..and don't try to figure out how God is going to do it..the day we can do golly by comes the money tree : )

  8. You know...I can very easily relate to your post!!

    I just wish I had enough money, so that if something happens to me and my husband, that my daughter (who has an ASD) would be taken care of financially for the rest of her life. I worry that she'll not adapt to a life in a group home or even on her own and by herself, (let's face it, she's young and still dependent on us emotionally). I wish I had enough extra money to put it in one of those special trusts, where she could still get her services, and still have some money to access. I have no idea how things will turn out for her when she gets older...I am always optimistic...but I do wish that money tree would buy me enough peace of mind incase the inevitable happens too soon.

  9. Yes!!! Peace of mind! You said it all!! Money tree would give me peace of mind. Sigh. Wouldn't that be blissful?

  10. I had the same mindset when I was younger. I desperately tried to prove my father wrong, believing I could get money to grow on a tree.

  11. Kids are truly inspirational! They have no limit to their imaginations! You sound like a fantastic Mom!

  12. I'm hoping that in a few weeks, your son's gardening efforts really, um, sprout.

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