School Clothes

Remember who you are.  Work hard and be open to new friends.  Have fun.  I love you very much.

Every year, on the first day of school, I put a note in my childrens’ lunch.  My son is a junior in high school and while his note is a very small index card shoved way down into his lunch so no one will see, it’s still there.  My youngest daughter is starting 8th grade, so her’s can still have poka-dots.  The card is usually some version of the four sentences above.

I no longer make lunch for my oldest daughter.  She’s in college, but she usually receives the same emotional mess in a text message on her first day of class.

This year the note seemed absurd to me.  Sort of a “do as I say, not as I do” thing.  I mean who can really remember who they are in a sea of students, especially in high school?  That’s a tall order for grown adults.

The work hard part probably goes in one ear and out the other.  They will work at whatever level they can handle at the time.  A note doesn’t remind you to work hard, you either do or you don’t.

Be open to new friends…wow, I can’t say I ever practice this one and I’ve been out of school for quite some time.

Have fun.  Hmm…have fun.  Well, life is not always fun and navigating hormones and other people and driving and dating and midterms and a new apartment can be anything but fun.

So why do I write this note?  It doesn’t make any sense.  I should just pack the damn lunch, save myself a few minutes and get on with it.

The answer lies in the last line of the note.  I love you very much.

I don’t pack it in their lunch because it’s practical, easy advice that I myself follow every day.  I do it because I love them, I want more for them and I still believe if they are faced with a challenging day, a little note may help.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Long Day.

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