If I were under investigation and the one question I had to answer was “What was the best thing that the pandemic brought?”-I would look up, my eyes glowing with excitement from it’s exhausted stupor and reply: “Not making school lunches.”
For years I’ve dedicated time highlighting the school’s menu. I’ve sat with my children, hopeful and full of confidence that the circled, colored document before them would convince them to buy the delicious chicken wrap tomorrow. I’ve circled pizza days and proudly text fellow moms friends to remind them that Tuesday was chicken fingers day.
“You get a morning off!” I’d exclaim with a red shiny heart.
For some, making school lunches seems minimal. A task filled with love that takes a mere five minutes. But making lunches is actually a monotonous task that can truly start a morning off on the wrong foot. There’s the bread, the cold cuts, the crust cut off, the mustard vs. mayonnaise, the ziplock bags, the dirty lunch pails from the day before and the missing miniature ice packs to ensure it all doesn’t spoil before they reach the cafeteria. And don’t get me started on the sides. The bags of chips, the fruit you hope they won’t throw in the trash, the pudding-one kid prefers chocolate the other vanilla so don’t mix that up- and the drink. Now, try to adjust it all so the lid closes properly. Then, once you’ve got it all together, second guess if that’s enough food, go back in the fridge for another cheese stick and some carrot sticks and rearrange the lunch box and struggle to shut it again.
Lunches are done just before the kids rush out the door. You manage to make it out behind them, not realizing you left all the turkey meat on the counter, which the dog will happily help herself to and you’ll spend the next morning tearing the fridge apart in search of the missing turkey, which will result in the kids being late for school. But you can worry about that tomorrow. For by the time you reach the office you’ll turn around to see that the youngest child left their lunch in the backseat for the third time this week.