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Lunch bag blues…

Last night I watched our youngest, Madison Lyn walk across the stage to receive her high school graduation diploma.

Thirteen years have whipped by and now our high school years are over. Well, fifteen if I add my oldest daughter’s time in school.

So because I like to, I did some math. 

  • I have driven 3,900 miles to the bus stop. (Minus a few for when each girl got their coveted “N” and could drive themselves.)
  • I have got to do at least 25 trips of local sight-seeing or exploring thanks to school field trips. This included exploring Blue Heron Park, camping at New Castle Island, riding the North Vancouver sea-bus, and going to UBC’s Anthropology Museum where I lost $20 to Madison’s friend Maddie because I dared her to ask the Secret Service’s limo driver who he was chauffeuring around.

Brave kid. Dumb Mom.

  • I have ruined at least three major school projects of my daughters’ by either burning them (the project not my child), forgetting to buy begged-for supplies, or messing up while writing for them on the one-and-only poster board in our possession.
  • I have asked my girls 2,250 times at suppertime what their three highs and three lows were in school that day. Not so necessary for my oldest who offered the info, but a must for our current grad to get her to share anything.
  • I have made 4,500 bag lunches for school less the glory hallelujah pizza days. And sick days of course.

Don’t judge me but I have always held the job of making my girls’ lunch in high esteem.

Almost like it was a badge of honour I proudly wore. So many of my friends thought I was crazy for making my kids’ lunches for them – especially when they got to be in their teens.

But to me, for some reason, for me it was the right thing to do. Maybe because my own mom did that for us four kids.

Growing up on the farm, I always knew after we’d raced around the house getting ready for school and sat down to breakfast, that sure-shootin’ right on the stairs before we’d run down to get our runners on, there would be four brown lunch bags in a row, with a pencilled letter on the front of each one.

A for Allan, D for Doug, L for Lorraine, and mine, E for Esther.  And every lunch bag held our specific favourites.

brown-bag-lunchOh don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like we could order a la carte. Of course not.

Back then it always consisted of a Tupperware cup with milk, a fruit, a snack, and a sandwich cut in half (cross-wise, not diagonally), stacked and wrapped in plastic wrap. It was the sandwich we could choose what we liked on it – for me it most often was brown sugar, sometimes grape jelly.

Oh and the drink? My favourite was strawberry or chocolate-flavoured milk. We kept Nestle’s Quick in business back then. And now that I think of it, there was no ice pack to keep the milk cold either.

The worst was when the Tupperware lid wasn’t on straight. The bus would drop us off at school in the morning and I’d run across the playground to find my friends and wham! my lunch would fall out the bottom of the soggy ripped lunch bag leaving me with broken chocolate chip cookies (home-made of course) and me chasing a now-bruised rolling apple down the school yard hill. #letitgoestherletitgo

Just a bit ago, I heard someone on the radio say she hoped her kids knew that making their lunches was like saying: “I love you”.

I hope my girls know the same holds true for me.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rachel #

    My mum would make us lunches each morning too – In grade 12 my friend Laura always wanted to trade her lunch for mine to get her hands on an epic Mrs. Schellenberg sandwich… one lunch time I found 2 sandwiches in my bag, one had Laura’s name on it haha best lunch gift ever! She was so excited 🙂

    June 29, 2016
  2. Peter #

    When I was a child its was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich like almost everyday, 9 siblings, we made our own lunches. As the years went on we started mixing the crunchy peanut butter with the grape jelly- color of the combo was not delightful, but taste was awesome.
    Kudos to Esther, memories, love and care your children will never forget.
    We homeschool our 8 little ones, so Sunday morning breakfast has always been my special time to cook for the family. Biscuits, almost always thick bacon and scrambled eggs. It has been a sweet time for me to have one or two of my children go through the Sunday morning cooking routine with me. As they got older they would move on to more important things like make up and blow drying their hair before church etc…..but the few years from ages 6-9 was always special. It really wasn’t about the food, it was time with dad! For that I’m thankful!

    June 29, 2016
  3. Monica #

    My brown bag always had “Moni” on it and a smiley face…right till I graduated. And now my kids get their custom lunches made by me every day (except for “glory hallelujah” pizza days–hilarious! But so true! ). I have to say you give me new inspiration to keep doing it though…I’m awfully sick of it, but thinking about it as an “I love you” is so true…how can I stop now??

    July 4, 2016

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