I remember reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein as a child and thinking, “Wow. That tree really loved that boy.” There are different ways you can look at the story, but I choose to look at it as a parent-child relationship.  No matter what the boy wanted, the parent was willing to help him.

I don’t think a child should get whatever they want.  Nor do I think a parent should lose themselves in giving the child everything they have.

But there is something about family, being a soft place to fall, being the source of all support, that makes me smile.

As we celebrate Family Day in Canada, I hope we all remember that no matter what we study, what we do for a living, or what mistakes we make, family is there.  And if it didn’t work out that way for you, make it happen for your own loved ones moving forward.

Shel Silverstein once said, “Listen to the mustn’ts child, listen to the don’ts.  Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.  Listen to the never haves then listen close to me — anything can happen child, anything can be.”

That is the message I take from The Giving Tree.  Family is there to tell you to take it all in, but to always remember that you are capable of anything.  If you believe in yourself, all your dreams can come true.

And as Shel said, listen to your own voice.  “There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, ‘I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.’ No preacher, teacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you — just listen to the voice that speaks inside.”

Let family give you the wings to fly and the roots to know where you came from.  But be true to what’s inside you and soar towards your own destiny.