All the leaves will fall off of our tree. I told J this today as we were in the backyard, looking at the leaves that are starting to fall. She gave me a very serious look and held leaf up above her head.
She learned the word "root" the other week. We were in the backyard, doing our backyard puttering, and she pointed repeatedly to a group of tree roots that have surfaced in our lawn. We traced their path back up to our giant silver maple, and then back down to the root near her. She must have really soaked that up because two days later my husband was out in the backyard with her and she told him all about roots and the tree in her toddler way.
Last summer when she was just a wee one, we would spend time sitting/laying around in the backyard under our giant maple. I'd often end up picking at the weeds taking over our lawn. I showed her the roots and she looked at them carefully, then shuddered and looked away, scrunching up her face, almost in disgust, but more like it was just too much to take in. So now she is taking it in.
My grandfather would be so delighted to know all of this. He describes a spiritual moment he had with a tree in his book (Cry of the Environment, Eds. Phillip Joranson and Ken Butigan)