I’m familiar with the phrase “Less is more”,but I’ve noticed my children showing gratitude for the simplest gestures lately, and I needed that reference as a mom in not being so hard on myself sometimes. They’re kids, so of course they’ll have moments where because of lack of maturity they may take somethings for granted, but I’ve seen as they’ve aged some major growth in being more appreciative. We oftentimes think that it’s the grandest of things that will leave the lasting impression for our children to remember their childhood by, but I think about my own childhood memories of the things my parents sacrificed that stand out that I’m grateful for. My son shared in an impromptu lunch date what mattered most to him, and it wasn’t what I could’ve expected.
It’s rare that my son’s school, and the school where I teach at aren’t out at the same time. I truly missed our spontaneous lunch dates since heading back to work full-time. My daughters attend an adjacent school next mine’s, so we share many school activities together similar to when we were homeschoolers. My son now stays with his father in a different county attending school. It makes it difficult to share those daily meaningful tidbits that we were accustomed to that were ever so frequent in combining home and school activities that we both enjoyed. He’s usual home with me if we’re both out of school, so the school lunch dates are a bust! He mentioned in passing a few times that he missed our school lunch dates.
I discovered I finally had a day off while he was in school. I wanted to surprise my son in showing up to share lunch with him, meet some of his school friends, meet his teachers, and show him despite the changes I’m still here by his side. I recently bought some cookies from Fresh Market that were a hit with the kids, but he especially took a liking to the cookies. My goals was to purchase a few cookies before heading on the road to the school to make our lunch date even more special. I kissed my daughters leaving them with my husband who was also happy to be off, and I started the little over an hour drive. The weather was pretty wet, cloudy, and nasty outside, and the traffic wasn’t as kind on the road. I had to bypass the store not purchasing the cookies to make it in time for his schedule lunch.
I made it to the school! The receptionist lead me to the cafeteria. I know as a middle school teacher myself, the cafeteria is the place to be in hanging out with friends, catching up on the latest news, and the only real free time to talk with your peers since recess is totally out of the picture.”Perhaps, he may choose to spend more times with his friends,” I thought to myself. Heck, I felt like a nervous preteens waiting for his class to show up. He spotted me out of the crowd, and he said ” Ma” in his now deep voice to give me hug. I told him he I heard he was looking for a lunch date, and asked if I could join him. He chose to sit at a table where it was just the two of us, and he talked my ears off. I shared with him about the cookies that I wanted to bring to make lunch a bit more special. My son said,”What makes it’s special Ma is the fact that you made your way up here.” We left it at that eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taking on the scene in sharing gratitude in being able to still be together through it all.