I wrote this post on mother’s day, but had issues with my photo upload, so here is a belated mother’s day post!
This morning Sienna plopped down next to me at the kitchen table and opened up a ziplock bag. I was confused for a minute, but then I realized it was every note that I’ve put in her lunchbox this year. She’d saved them! She spread them out all over the kitchen table and read each one out loud, laughing hysterically at my funnier notes. I don’t know if she did it on purpose, but it was a perfect activity for mother’s day morning – a reminder of how motherhood is a series of small acts that may not seem important, but when viewed together add up to something pretty special.
My mom had a career before having kids, and by the time I came around (her third!), she stayed home to focus on us. She was always there for school drop offs and pick ups, swim practices, help with homework, encouraging us and making us feel loved and special. As a working mom, I’m not able to do the school drop offs and pickups. I help with homework when I get home from work, I make sure she has sweet and caring babysitters, and our weekends are sacred bonding time, but I worry about how I will be able to make Sienna feel as special and as loved as I did while growing up. One of the ways that I try do that is to always include a note in her lunchbox. On my best days I write them the night before, and they are clever and include a drawing and a joke. My favorite? This one!
On my worst days, when I had to work after bedtime into the wee hours of the night and I’m exhausted and packing her lunch and my lunch while trying to get out the door and “oh no, has she taken her medicine yet?!” she gets a scribbled “I love you!” with a heart. But I always, always include something. (Worrying about whether she has taken her medicine yet is pretty much another full time job for me. To try to combat FOP before an approved treatment is available, Sienna takes 6 kinds of medicine right now, one is 4 times a day, 2 are 2 times a day and three are once a day).
Time will tell whether I’ve done a good enough job as a mom, but the fact that she’s saving and re-reading my notes is a good sign! Since they were spread out over our table, I took the opportunity to document them. Many had gotten wet (her choice of lunch when I pack it is always hot chicken noodle soup), they are not in chronological order and I am no artist, but I can look back with pride and know that every single time she brought her lunch, she knew I put a little love in it! (Even when I had to travel for work – I wrote those notes in advance!).
Happy belated Mother’s Day to my mom, and to all the moms out there! And remember, don’t eat your mother’s day cards, they taste like paper!