Brown Bag Blues

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*Set to the tune of ZZ Hill’s Down Home Blues

My little boy is growing up in every way imaginable.  And it feels so bittersweet!  Last year Nicholas announced that he did not want me to pack lunch for him any more.  He wanted to eat the school lunch.  I really didn’t know what to think.  I wasn’t necessarily offended, I just felt sad.  I like packing Nicholas’ lunch.  I take great care to make it nutritious and appetizing.  I look through cookbooks and surf the web to find creative ideas so that he does not have to eat sandwiches everyday.  I also like to bake treats specifically for his lunch.  Plus,  a couple of times a week I include a note, stickers, or a small toy.   Nicholas has told me several times that he is the envy of the lunchroom.  The kids can’t wait to see what I have packed for him.  Although it is a bit time consuming I enjoy doing it.  It makes me feel  good and it gives me the opportunity to do something expressly for him.  Wanting to hold on to my little one for a wee bit longer; I convinced him to hold off on school lunch. 

While cruising down the aisles at Target yesterday we saw a display of lunch boxes.  I planned to buy him a new one for the upcoming school year.  Nicholas, however, only looked at them half-heartedly.  I knew what was wrong.  I casually asked him if he would like to eat school lunch.  His face lit up.  “I’d at least like to try it Mom, if it’s okay with you,” Nicholas replied.  He was so sincere in his response that it made me smile.  We continued on with our shopping sans lunchbox. 

This year Nicholas, my tween, will be eating school lunch!  We agreed that if he did not like it that I could always start packing his lunch again.  Better yet, if he does go back to taking his lunch to school, I plan to teach him how to pack it himself.  This is a most vital skill in the working world of 30 minute lunches!  I’m getting used to the idea and it just might be okay.  I’m going to continue my practice of notes and small surprises.  I’ll just have to put them in his backpack instead.

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2 responses »

  1. My lone elementary school child does both school and home lunch. He looks at the menu at the beginning of the week and decides which days he is going to eat school lunch and which days he wants to bring a lunch. He packs his own lunch on the days he decides to bring one from home. This has worked well for us.

    I know what you mean, though, about having to let one of your “mom services” go. It is always a little sad when they grow up.

  2. I’ve been packing my daughter lunches because of her food allergies. This year, she’s decided that she will only take lunches on the days she’s having something she can’t eat. They grow up so fast!

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