A story in the style of The Giving Tree
Once there was a little girl. More than anything else in the world, she loved to play outside. In the spring she would skip through the meadow, filling her arms with giant bouquets of wildflowers. In the summer she would run through the fields, turning cartwheels and tumbling down the grassy hills. In the fall she would jump into leaf piles all day long, sometimes hiding in a particularly large one to jump out and scare unsuspecting victims. And in the winter she couldn’t get on her jacket, scarf, and mittens fast enough to run out the door to make snow angels and have snowball fights. To her, the outdoors were one giant adventure, new things ready to be explored each day.
When she played, she was often joined in her adventures by her favorite playmate, a little boy who lived down the road. One day however, when he walked up the road, something was different. He didn’t run toward her; instead he walked slowly up the road, his head down, kicking a stone as he walked. Finally the little girl couldn’t take it any longer, and she ran as fast as she could down the road to meet him.
The boy gently pulled his arm out of her grip and stood there. The little girl looked at him in surprise, wondering why he was acting like this. She peered more closely at the little boy, and realized with a start that she could see tears running down his face.
The little boy looked down at the ground, toeing the dirt with his shoe. “My mom said we’re moving.”
A horrified expression crossed her face as the little girl asked, “You mean you’ll never come back? I won’t ever see you again?”
Numbly, the little boy shook his head.
“That’s not fair!” The little girl protested.
He shrugged, sniffing and roughly swiping his tears away with the heel of his hand. “Mom says sometimes things change, but just because it’s different doesn’t make it bad.” He told her shakily.
“Why wouldn’t it be bad?” She asked. “You’re going to have to go to a new place you don’t know, and make new friends, and go to a new school, and you won’t know anything about it there!”
Smiling weakly, the boy looked up and said, “Just like one of our adventures, right?”
A year went by, much the same as it had before. The girl still ran about and played outside, no matter what season it was. She still gathered flowers, ran through the fields, jumped in the leaves, and made snow angels. Every day was a new adventure.
But one day, very much like the day her friend had told her he was moving, her mother came to her with news of her own.
“Honey, I’ve got something I have to tell you,” her mother said, pulling her up into her lap. “Your daddy got a job in another town, so we’re all going to have to move there in a couple of weeks.”
The little girl looked up at her mother in shock. “What?” It took a moment for it to all sink in, and then she almost shouted, “We can’t move!”
Her mother wrapped her up in a hug. “I’m sorry sweetie, but we have to.”
“But it’s going to be all different! I won’t know anything, and I’ll have to make new friends, and we’ll have to live in a new house. I like it here!” The little girl protested.
Sighing, her mother asked, “What’s your favorite season?”
The little girl was taken aback, pulling out of her mother’s hug to stare at her in surprise. “What do you mean?”
Her mother smiled, and repeated, “What’s your favorite season? Out of all of the seasons, which one do you like the very best?”
“Well, I like spring…no summer…well fall…but winter is nice too…” She sat there for a moment, biting her lip and thinking very hard. Finally she answered, “I don’t know. I like them all.”
Her mother faked a shocked expression. “You mean even though you play outside all the time, you can’t decide on your favorite season? Surely since you spend so much time out there you can pick one favorite.”
She shook her head. “I can’t Mommy! I tried! I like them all. In the spring there are the pretty flowers, and in the summer you get to play all the time, and in the fall there are all the leaf piles, and in the winter you have snow.”
“Well, what if it never changed seasons and you were always stuck with the same one?” Her mother asked. “Wouldn’t you be sad you couldn’t have the other seasons too?”
The little girl thought about it for a moment, and then nodded slowly.
“Sometimes change is important,” her mother told her. “Change lets us enjoy all of the different seasons, and once we move, you’ll see that change lets us enjoy different things in life too.”
“You promise?” The little girl asked.
“I promise.” Her mother replied.