Last year, on Will’s due date, we planted a tree. It kept my mind off the fact that our baby didn’t want to make his appearance on time. So we took that extra week and thought of ways to keep our hands busy and our minds occupied. I had heard of the tradition of parents planting trees on their child’s birthday and then taking a photo next to it every year. For some reason that idea struck a cord with me. A happy cord. Like a D chord. Sorry I get cheesey when I’m breathing.
We picked a Yoshino Cherry Tree for several reasons. We loved the size and shape. We loved the little white blooms. We also loved the meaning. Online we found out that the cherry tree represents death, rebirth, and new awakenings. In Japan, they believe that the cherry blossom is an omen of good fortune and an emblem of love, affection and the coming of spring.
I like to know what trees and plants represent to other cultures. It may be strange but it helps me remember what those plants are like and what they do. Like the cherry tree blossoms represent clouds because the blooms all open at the same time…making little clouds of white that hang on the branches. And all the other meanings pretty much are spot on for representing our first born…death (we decided to start trying for a baby after my grandmother passed)…rebirth (the passing of the old generation, the birth of the next generation)…new awakenings (hello 3am breastfeeding sessions!)…love (in the bedroom)…affection (we definitely are fond of the kid)….coming of spring (and Will’s springing into this world!). So it was definitely fitting. It also just nearly fit in the back of our SUV on the way home from Lowe’s.
We decided at the time that we wanted it up front and so we transplanted the Vitex tree that was in the bed and put Will’s tree there instead.
It’s a good idea when you are planning on planting a tree to make sure the hole is at least twice as wide as the pot. It helps not only loosen the dirt for the roots to get established but it also makes it easier to get any air pockets filled and help with proper drainage.
Whenever we plant something new we always fill that hole with water before putting the plant’s root ball into the hole. It helps too if you loosen the roots up with a small spade or a knife. Don’t forget to do the sides and the bottom.
Then just firmly plant your new guy in there and water away.
We usually make a little ‘well’ around the tree or shrub so that the water won’t run away from the plant…I don’t know if you have to do that everywhere but here in Georgia, there are a lot of hills and our naturally clay filled soil takes a little extra time to absorb that water.
Here’s Will at four days old in front of his tree. He is so crazy little. The current Will could eat the baby Will for breakfast.
And seriously…was I swollen or what?! It’s hard to remember how swollen I really was…so let me put it this way…I gained almost 60 pounds with my pregnancy. Three weeks after giving birth I woke up one morning with ankles…swelling poof gone. So I weighed myself and I was only ten pounds more than my prepregnancy weight. That is a LOT of water. I often wondered if I just took a pin and pricked my ankle, if I would leak. That would be equally disgusting and awesome.
So anyhoo…after we found our new house, the first thing we did was dig up Will’s tree and replace the Vitex tree back into it’s former home. After a little bit of transitional trash-can dwelling, our babe’s tree finally came to resting spot near the side of the house.
And yes…it is in full bloom!
It’s so cute and small…but I know that one day it will be something that Will will be able to find shade under…he will be able to lay out a blanket and read a book there…or climb in it’s branches. Not FALL from it’s branches or puncture himself with the branches or use the branches as a weapon against future siblings…a girl can dream, right?!
And we will definitely have to get a yearly photo of him in front of his tree. And just in case we miss his tree in bloom…there is always the International Cherry Blossom Festival here in Georgia….
So that is one little highlight of our…well…our year! A little tradition, a little nature, and a whole lotta swelling. Anyone else out there a birthday tree planter? Or perhaps you have a different yearly tradition that you do…I’ve heard of the whole ‘outfit’ thing where you dress your baby in adult clothing and then as they grow up they fit into them more and more….so what is yours? Oh and has anyone else out there get crazy swollen with their babies? I know that I ain’t the only one popping the vitamin B6 like it was candy….