food · routines · slice of life

Lunch Notes

Packing Lunch (on Monday Afternoon)

As soon as the school year started, I declared I wouldn’t be packing 360 lunches solo this year. I enlisted the help of my children so they could learn how to prepare their lunches. We’ve gotten to the point – in January – where they can pack their lunch without adult help, but it’s often heavier on cheese and animal crackers than fruit and veggies when they do it without supervision. (Therefore, I supervise!) But no matter who packs the lunch, there’s always a note from me inside of their lunchbox.

On Sundays, though, I give the kids a day off from packing their lunches. Most of the time, I get their Monday lunches ready while I prep their Sunday lunches. Yesterday, there was some resistence when I pushed Ari’s apple juice box into the outside compartment of his Planetbox carrier. I stuck my hand inside and discovered a bunch of crumpled-up lunch notes.

“How come all of these notes are in here?” I said as I unfurled them.

A sampling of what I found…

Ari gave me a grin as he speared a chicken nugget with his fork. (Ari is to chicken nuggets as Mr. Pitt is to a Snickers bar.)

“Are you saving the notes I give you for lunch?” I asked.

“Mmm-hmmm,” he replied as he chewed.

My heart swelled. Earlier in the school year, I noticed that Ari often brought home the notes, but I tossed them in the trash when I saw them at the end of the day. But now, it seems he’s been stashing them in the deepest spot of his lunchbox.

“Would you like an envelope to save them in rather than shoving them where your juice box goes?” I asked.

“Yeah, that would be good,” Ari said.

I immediately went to my office, labeled an envelope, and stuffed the notes I found into it.

I have no idea what will happen to these lunch notes. Perhaps Ari will toss them at the end of the school year. But right now, it warms my heart he wants to save them.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

10 thoughts on “Lunch Notes

  1. I love the lunch notes and the cute doodles accompanying them. I can imagine Ari looking back on this sweet memory one day and thinking about the hundreds of loving notes you left for him to discover. They’ll feed his soul. 🤗

  2. I am 52 years old and your post transported me! My mother would draw on the outside of our lunch bags every day, well into middle and high school. While neither my brothers nor I kept her artistic masterpieces, the memory of them is solid in my heart. I do recall many, many friends who commented on the extra bit of care the drawings implied (sometimes negative & often positive), and now I have my adult brain to reflect on the impact. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this gift!!

  3. You are my hero in so many ways! The kids pack their own lunch! You write them daily notes! Amazing. How sweet that Ari saves them! My mom packs my kids lunches and she always draws a picture on the front of the bag. Megan was saving them, too!

  4. I’m always touched when I see notes from parents in my students’ snacks or lunches. What a warm, nurturing thing to do! (Love your illustrations, too!)

  5. Oh, Ari, what a tender heart (way to go, mom, on top of everything else you do). I love how Amy’s comment says your post transported her to her mom’s lunch bag decorations. You reminded me of how moved I was when I found my son had a box of all saved birthday cards, notes from grandparents, etc, that we discovered when we were cleaning his room after he left for college.

  6. I rarely did lunch notes to my children; but, I love the reminder you are thinking of them even when you are apart. It may be especially important when you are in K and 1 when the day is long and the task of learning is mostly unfamiliar. Later on, many children may act as if they don’t need a reminder you are thinking of them; however, the challenges are many and the quiet reminder may be a high point of their long day – even if they act differently!

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