Lunch Love Notes

Do your children miss you?  I didn’t realize quite how much mine did until this week.

When I was little, my Mama often sent love notes along with my lunch.  The notes wouldn’t be long lists of the ways I pleased her or why she loved me better than my sisters (sorry, girls), the notes were more an indication that she thought and cared about me when I was not with her.  And even though my mom hasn’t been packing my lunch for over two decades, she still let’s me know she’s thinking of me.  Be it texts, emails or dropping a quick dime, she let’s me know I have been on her mind.  And it still feels good.

I write notes to my kids along with their lunches.  Usually quick things like, Hope you have a super day!  or I can’t wait to see you this afternoon!  But they always end with I love you, Mama.  Always.  Sometimes, I try to hide the note in with their lunch and make them search it out.  Sometimes, I toss it in at the last minute.  And sometimes, I forget.  Earlier this week, Mooch asked me if I would sign his Lunch Love Note from our entire family so he would be reminded of all of us during the day.  I asked Cub if he read the notes I sent.  He said yes and that his friends always tried to snatch the note from him to read it.  Timidly, I asked if it embarrassed him that I sent the notes…  (Say no, say no, say no…)  Yes, he said.  Do you want me to stop sending them with you?  No, he grinned.  [One of those Mama Moments]

Cub and I decided that I could try to write his Lunch Love Notes in code using a Lord of the Rings Lego decoder…  Well, I am truly a Mama of three boys.  So we are going to work on the decoder so I can tell him I Love You without anyone knowing.  But for now (until I learn to be a better Mama of three boys), we are going with this:

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The next morning, just as he had asked, I included a note with Mooch’s lunch which read: Dear Mooch, I hope you have a wonderful day and I can’t wait to hear about all the new things you learned and friends you played with!  We love you, Mama, Daddy, Cub and Zook.  XOXO.  I hid it inside his cloth sandwich bag and Velcroed it shut.  At dinner that night, I asked him if he had gotten the note.  He said he had found it and asked his teacher to read it to him.  Then I snuggled it when I had my nap time so I wouldn’t miss you as much.  [Mama Moment]  Sure enough, I found the Lunch Love Note crumpled up in his slipper.  Have I mentioned lately that I adore these children?  Maybe not enough.  Read on.

It’s reminding me that all too often, we Mamas spend hours per day critiquing our children.  Helping them get something right, giving out pointers, requests, advice.  We instruct, we make demands, we provide feedback.  These are all important things for sure but I wonder if the times per day we tell them we love them or miss them match these critiques.  Should it?  Now that I spend some time thinking about it, we do spend a great deal of energy on correcting our children and pointing out (kindly, of course) when they have made a mistake.  I am confident I tell them I love them at least… Twice… Shit.  It’s a simple thing.  It’s just that there are many other things that I need to say.  But what could be more important than I Love You…?  I think we all know the answer to that.

Now I am not talking about just saying it for the sake of saying it.  I love you I love you I love you.  See?  Meaningless.  But what about, The smile you had when you got off the bus today made my whole day better.  Or, I love your hugs.  Or better still, Can I have an extra hug so when I am missing you later today I remember how it feels to hold you?  These deeper, more meaningful expressions of love are just that: Deeper and more meaningful.  Which is exactly what I think kids need.  We need to quantify love for them- otherwise they may get lost in the vastness of it.  One of my favorite things to say to my kids is I love you more than all the leaves on all the trees in the whole entire world.  Then I point out a tree and ask him to try to count all the leaves.  I can’t- there’s too many, Mama.  Yup.  That’s right kiddo.  That’s right.

Peace, Mamas.

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7 thoughts on “Lunch Love Notes

  1. Such a great reminder that I needed. I came across The Orange Rhino blog yesterday through Handsfree Mama and I’ve decided to really work on the whole no yelling thing and being a better, more loving mama. My son got teased by lunch notes in 1st grade as well. I don’t send them much anymore for my kids but I think I should start up again for the remainder of the year. My daughter always tells me she misses me at school. At the beginning of the school year, she would have times where she cried and she said it was because she missed me. I think it had to do with being in Kindergarten and it being new but maybe missing me was a result of those feelings. All they want is to be loved by us isn’t it? i too have so much more to say and it melts my heart when my daughter says, “mommy” what. “I love you.” just out of the blue. She’s always done that. My son, on the other hand grabs my arm and rubs his nose on it. LOL. Arrgh.

  2. You’re a great mama. We’re not perfect, I’m a yeller too. I also occasionally do the notes (see you ARE me!) but I bet the non yelling mums are the ones who don’t do sweet notes or tell their baby’s how much they love them. As long as the one outweighs the other that’s all that matters 🙂

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