I love to pack lunches. I am not known for being much of a cook. I try to be creative – but let’s just say I have a co-dependent relationship with my microwave. However, there is one culinary duty that I have mastered… I Can Pack a Lunch! It starts with the vessel itself. Every year, my kids can pick their own lunch box. It’s a splurge I don’t mind making. It makes my kids happy and it provides the perfect backdrop to the contents inside. Whether is Spider Man or Star Wars, I can throw-in some bug-shaped gummies or whip-up some star-shaped sandwiches! Not to mention the note that I inscribe on the napkin complete with a quote or maybe a drawing from Luke Skywalker or Spidey himself!
But for my 12-year-old Colt, this year was different. He is now in the 6th Grade and is simply too school for school – or too cool for themed lunch boxes. Although he is still entertained with episodes of Sponge Bob – he would not be caught dead with the yellow character on his lunch box. No, instead, he opts for a Brown Paper Bag. Yes, a Brown Paper Bag.
What can I do with a Brown Paper Bag?? His peanut butter sandwich has no personality. Even the crusts (which were always a mandatory removal) remain. All of the other elements – yogurt, grapes and a small sack of Cheez-Its – are crammed into a dismal brown house. The personality is gone…except for one thing. THE NOTE. The Napkin Note! At least I have that. I pull out the paper towel (I was out of napkins) and a black pen. But before I write the first word, Colt stops me and says…. “Better Not Mom”. I immediately put the pen down.
“Are You Okay” – Colt asks, concerned that he has hurt my feelings.
Not wanting him to see me cry I cheerfully say, “Of Course I’m Okay!”
I put the plan white napkin into his sack and discretely wipe the tears from my eyes.
But I’m NOT okay. I’m NOT okay with it being un-cool for him to read a note from his mom fearing that the other lunchroom kids with laugh. I’m NOT okay with him no longer holding my hand – even if he’s scared. I’m NOT okay with him preferring not to be seen with me when his friends are around.
The Good News (cuz I have to have some good news) is that when we are home…he still let’s me snuggle. He still lets me kiss his face and he doesn’t seem to mind when I tell him I love him. I pray to God that will never, never, ever change.
Although it’s not on a napkin – I feel determined to write I LOVE YOU COLT! LOVE, MOM.