Victoria has 9 days of school left this year—6 full days and 3 half days. That means that there are 6 more days this year that I get to pack her lunch, 9 more mornings to fix her coffee. And only one more year after that.
As I stood in the kitchen this morning making her sandwich, I did a little math. It looked like this:
(3 x 165 x 13) + (165 x 12) = 8,415
The 3 represents my college kids, who now make their own school lunches. 165 is for the average number of lunches I make in a school year, estimated by including absences and occasions where they didn’t need lunch (which is not often since they have attended schools without lunch programs) and the 13 is for the number of years from K to 12th grade. The (165 x 12) is for Victoria, since she still has her senior year ahead of her. And I realized: that’s a lot of sack lunches! (It does not take into account the years of Tuesday mornings at church where they have taken their lunches.)
It’s a labor of love. I don’t mind doing it, and although we joke about what a disaster zone my kitchen would be after they all were done making lunch, I have done it more because I care. Talking at dinner the other night, it became clear that the message was delivered loud and clear. Emily just finished her first year in college and has moved back home for the summer. At dinner, I shared the story of a friend (an acquaintance at the time of the conversation) who was APPALLED that I would make lunches for my children. “You’re spoiling them. They’re old enough to do that themselves. They’ll never amount to anything!” she said. Em’s immediate response was to remind me that they all know how to make a lunch, but it never tastes quite the same when they pack it themselves. “Mom, the love is missing if I pack my own. It tastes so much better when you pack it.” she said.
Hmmmm…mission accomplished. Never underestimate the power of the little things.