The Middle School cafeteria peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The ultimate humiliation if your lunch money account runs low.
Yes, I admit – I did it. Even in the computer age when lunch money is virtual, via an account on the school computer, accessed by the student’s account number, and even when the school sends me an email when the lunch money account is low, I can still find a way to be human and put my child through that embarrassment of embarrassments – having to eat the provided sack lunch that the kids who forgot their lunch money have to eat.
When I was in school, the coins for lunch money came from a small basket of change my mom kept on the shelf in the laundry room above the dryer. I think the only thing we got to eat if we forgot our money was……….nothing?
I simply didn’t see my reminder note on Wednesday. And only three days after Mother’s Day, I failed in my mission to protect my child from mortification. (Do I have to give my presents back?)
For a twelve-year-old girl who doesn’t want to stand out from the crowd, and who doesn’t even like PB&J, Wednesday’s lunch was quite the mortification.
But one good thing about it – at least the free school lunch was the significant emotional experience my daughter needed to do her job of remembering she was out of lunch money. She took responsibility and got that lunch money as soon as I got home from work.
Amazing what kids will remember to do to avoid being disgraced in front of their friends. )
Apparently it can fly at least 800 miles.
For sitting on my porch when I got home from work yesterday was a box from Great Lakes, Illinios, addressed to me in my sailor son’s handwriting.
“Oh, Goodie,” I thought. “A present already.”
And what a present – something every Mom dreams of getting in the mail.
Actually, something every Mom always gets but never wants. Sailor boy’s dirty laundry. Yeah!
Even 800 miles away, I’m STILL doing his laundry!! When will it end???
Well, at least I know he still needs me.
But it’s OK son – I forgive you. Again.
P.S. And check out the variety of blogs at condron.us
Do you ever feel as if you’re straddling a frail, thin line? Or maybe standing on one side, peering over to the other, trying not to lose your delicate balance and topple over?
Sometimes it feels as if life is divided by this tenuous line. Happiness on one side and sadness on the other. Standing on the side of sadness, it seems that the line is a tall, stone wall, impossible to jump over and even very hard to scale. But eventually you hope to clear the top and bound to the other side.
But standing on the side of happiness, the line appears to be just drawn in the sand, easily crossed, sometimes without even realizing when it happens.
Or maybe the line itself moves. You might not have to change a thing, or move a muscle, but one minute you’re on the joyous side, and the next you’re on the side of despair. Wondering how you got there, and how you’re going to get back over.
Or maybe the line divides a life into two phases, one before, and one after. Never to be the same again – you can never go back. But before or after what? It’s different for each of us.
For our family, the line is being drawn by my children who are leaving the fold, venturing out on their own. Inviting danger?
Joining the military.
Right now, things are wonderful. Everyone is happy and healthy. And alive. We’ve got everything that’s really important. But things may change. My son-in-law just left for Army boot camp last week, for three months, and plans to request active duty. My son will leave for Navy boot camp next month, and plans to train to be a SEAL. I think a lot about how our lives would never again be the same if something were to happen to them, and remind myself to appreciate what we have today, be thankful for each and every day that we’re all here: happy and healthy. And alive.
Right now, things are great. But I feel as if I’m peering over the line that divides our happiness from sadness, the cheerful present from a possibly heartrending future. I’m praying for balance, not even wanting to breathe the wrong way in fear it will make me tilt. I’m begging God not to let my family unexpectedly topple to the other side.
I don’t want to contemplate life or death; I’d rather just think about what to cook for dinner.
And those are the feelings of a new Military Mom.
(P.S. And check out the variety of blogs at condron.us)