Advice for the Tree Hugger


“I don’t know.”

It’s a response I get often from college students when I inquire about their goals for the future. They frequently come to me frustrated by the taste of adulthood that freshman year offers.

Decisions – the ones that we know really count – can paralyze us.

After a long day in the office, I escaped to the backyard with my favorite tree hugger. Literally, there is a tree in our backyard that we planted when our son was born. He hugs it daily.

Today, however, he wanted to climb. And, for the first time, he did it by himself.

“When I grow older, I’m going to work.” The weight of his words surprised me.

“What will you do?”

He looked at me without speaking. Oh, yes, he is only three. Try again.

“What will you do for your job?”

Without hesitation, he replied, “I want to write.”

And, with that, he leapt from the branch.

I may be a writing teacher. I may be a writer. But, frankly, I don’t care if my son makes a living out of his passion. In that special mother-son moment, I forgot all about my little boy.

My mind recalled the countless students who frequent my office, even ones I saw earlier today. They ponder their future, and they worry. My dream for all young people, including my own children, is the same.

Strive to be a decent human being.

And if my son should make it as a world famous writer, I pray that he uses his gift for good.

One Year Ago: The Kind of Hope That Floats

6 thoughts on “Advice for the Tree Hugger

  1. Brian Tackman

    Wonderful blog. We should all strive to be decent human beings, as you have so eloquently said. It starts in the formative childhood years. As parents, we encourage our children during these formative years. I compliment you Lauren on not only striving to be a good parent, but a decent human being and for being so encouraging all those you come in contact with on a daily basis in your life. Bless you !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian. The little years carry so much weight – I just hope when my children talk to their professors one day, they’ll at least appreciate my effort, even when they are old enough to identify where I’ve fallen short. I always appreciate your encouragement, Friend!


  2. Ah, lovely.

    The end of one writer’s prayer I pray — “Give me the gift of something that can nourish others. May I use it for good. And make me ever mindful to call it Yours.”

    Yes, may your son use whatever he pursues for good.

    Liked by 1 person

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