I sent my child to school without lunch today

it’s day 2

yesterday was the first day

day after day her lunch returned home untouched

and my heart aches on so many levels

apparently she sits with two friends
one brings 1/2 a nutella sandwich, “which she hates”
the other, a bag of chips purchased from the vending machine

my child doesn’t eat what I send

she turns her nose at my offers of love
disguised as cut up chicken, tomatoes and chocolate kisses
or deconstructed nachos consisting of chips, salsa and shredded cheese (each packed separately)
or cheese and crackers
or portuguese roll and butter
or special ham from Zabars
brought lovingly from NYC by MY mama just for her

it’s a new time

my little girl is big

I’m not there to supervise, cajole, coddle, none of it

the other day I read an article about a son’s coming of age

it brought me to tears

I’m not prepared for this

I thought I had more time

it’s too soon

fortunately for me it’s very early in the morning
and she isn’t up yet so I climb into bed with her “to nuggle”

(a phrase we’ve used since she was a teeny tiny)

and breathe her in

she stretches exactly like she did as a baby
lips pursed, arms out in each direction

her sweet little girl smell has been replaced with something almost sour
the scent of growing up I guess

I touch her smooth skin, pull her close and breathe her in anyway

damn I love her so

I wake her and go downstairs to prepare
her single heart shaped pancake, dusted with powdered sugar

she’s not too big for that

she walks out the door
with no lunch packed lovingly from mama
no handwritten notes or little surprises

instead I text her to make sure she made the bus

“Glad you made it – I love  you the most – have the best day”
I say

life moves so quickly

here’s the thing
(you knew there’d be “a thing”)
for the past 12 years, I have been responsible for my daughter’s lunch in one form or another
that simple act of preparing her lunch symbolized an enormous piece of my identity
today, what opened up on the other side of sadness and loss
was possibility, liberation, JOY
the truth is there are other things that I provide for her
that are every bit as important if not more
modeling for her what a full rich life looks like, for example
and you can do that too
it’s all about realigning your perspective
if you want help realigning yours, you know where to find me
in the meanwhile, enjoy all the moments