I suppose it’s easy to feel taken for granted as a mother. Your children don’t thank you for picking up their toys, or cooking them breakfast, or wiping their butts. They certainly don’t thank you for giving up your Saturday afternoon to go to another kid’s birthday, as well as your own money buying another ingrate a birthday present. They fail to realize how much easier you make their mornings by having school clothes already laid out and book bags packed. They underestimate the stress of keeping up with doctors’ appointments and sorting out fun, safe, and appropriate summer camps. They fail to appreciate that you hate their homework more than they do.
But every once in a while, you get a sign – a sign that demonstrates that there is a limit to their ingratitude.
Since Stella has been on ADHD medication this year, I realize that more often than not she won’t eat much at lunch. As such, I try to fill her lunchbox with stuff that would be enticing to a little girl who simply does not feel hungry. It’s truly nasty stuff. You’ll find cookies, Slim Jims, black olives, candy, and chips. Looking at her lunchbox, you would think that I truly am the worst mother in the world. You would also never know that at dinner the other night she ate nearly a pound of salmon -who needs leftovers?- by herself along with brussels sprouts. But I digress.
Every single day of the school year so far, I have put a little note and cartoon and her lunchbox for her. I can’t draw to save my life, so it’s usually some poorly-rendered anthropomorphic food item with big bug eyes and eyelashes. Think the Shopkins’ ugly redneck cousin. Or sometimes it’s an animal. Anyway, the note is always encouraging. I tell her to be kind, think and work carefully, listen well, and I always sign it with a little “❤ mom.”
Almost every single day when her lunchbox comes home, it looks like the note is untouched. I sometimes ask if she’s seen it. Usually I get an “I don’t know.” But I keep sending the notes anyway. I figure some day in the future when she thinks her mother is the biggest asshole in the world maybe she’ll remember those notes.
Two nights ago she asked for small-sized paper and colored pens. There was much intense drawing and writing for quite a while on the kitchen counter. Later she approached me and told me that she had notes to put in my lunch for the next day at work.
It’s more of a goofy story or comic book then a note. But it’s absolutely amazing. While I have jettisoned much kid art in the past several years, this will be kept. (And the braggy mom in me must point out that the spelling errors were done on purpose. She wanted it to be silly, like Captain Underpants.)
They do get it. Or at least some of it.
It’s always nice to be told you’re luvly.