Lunch Box Notes

In the mad dash to clean and make my house generic for prospective buyers, I took all of the pictures, etc. off of the refrigerator. I had this handy-dandy caddy with really strong magnets that stuck to the side of the fridge where I kept things like our library cards and eye-glasses repair kits, etc. And when I unpacked the kids' lunchboxes, I would put my joke-of-the-day note in the caddy, if it had made it home.

So, this morning, as I was going through the bags of junk I had hastily stashed away, I found them.

Hundreds and hundreds of really bad jokes, written on whatever pad of paper I had handy at the time. Some are written on the back of the Dog-A-Day-Calendar that my husband used to give me every year for Christmas. I found a couple of ones that I'd written twice. I found the ones that made us laugh the hardest:

What color is a hiccup? Burple!

What's in the middle of a jelly-fish? A JELLY-button!

What happens when it rains cats and dog? You step in a POODLE!

What kind of a car does Luke Skywalker drive? A Toy-yoda!

What do you call tired popcorn? Pooped-corn!

I used to try to tie them to whatever Ana or Jane was studying in school at that moment:

What is a Marsupial's favorite drink? Koko-Koala!

What kinds of songs do planets sing? Nep-tunes!

Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? At the bottom!

I made them seasonal:

How do you fix a broken jack-o-lantern? With a pumpkin patch!

What's the difference between Santa and a warm dog? Santa wears the whole suit but a dog just pants!

We went through a whole phase of knock-knock jokes that I will spare you. We did elephant jokes and chicken jokes and, for some reason, golf jokes. Sometimes I just wrote to them that I was so proud of them and that I hoped they had wonderful days.

I did/do this every time my kids take their lunches, just to give them a little smile in the middle of the day. Sometimes I recycle the jokes and use ones I've already given them if I'm out of time to write a new one, but still, it's hundreds and hundreds of notes...

Seeing all of those notes in the middle of this stressful time made me feel really good and gave me a big smile in the middle of my day. It sort of brought me back to center, you know? Like I remembered that what's really important and what makes memories the kids will cherish, is the consistency of my love for them. That every single day, they had a little note from me --just a small thing. Just one stitch into the fabric of their childhoods. All this other stuff--the selling the house and buying another and the stress over the unknown and the holidays and all the frantic pace of everything --none of it will mean as much to them as these daily expressions of love from their silly mom.

Why was the frog sad? Because he was un-HOPPY!


Ei said…
That's lovely, Barb! Your girls are lucky to have you.
TheOneTrueSue said…
Oh, Barb, what a wonderful idea. I'm stealing this from you. What an awesome mom.
Annabanana said…
Awesome Barb! I do the notes, too, every day. Some days I want to skip it when I'm rushed, but I find something to jot down - I remember it from my mom, so I know it's important and a memory that will last. You hang onto those!
Oh, my gosh, you really do save everything.
Barb Matijevich said…
Dude, that's so mean. I DON'T save everything. In fact, I tend to be on the same side of the spectrum as Jane, who once threw my husband's watch away because she didn't see any need for it. I just kept these because I reused them and it was easier to put them in this tiny cubby than to think about walking all the way to the trash can.

So there.
Damsel said…
Barb, you totally rock. Your family is so blessed to have you!
You are a really good mom...

Who's a chicken's favorite composer? BACH!
Anonymous said…
My mom used to do this. And I thought she was so goofy. 'Course I was in 9th grade when she started doing it. ......Anyway, now with kids of my own I think its cute :)
Anonymous said…
I did this for two weeks when my kids were in 7th and 4th grades. TWO WEEKS. I was prepared to keep doing it forever, but my *kids* made me stop. "Mom, Paul keeps searching my lunch box for my joke and laughs at me and I hate it." etc. Your kids are lucky to have you, that's a given, but hey, You are lucky to have your kids, too!