I can’t think of a family ritual more mundane and more emotionally charged than packing a child’s lunch. I’ve begun paying attention lately since my daughter will graduate from high school this week. This empties my nest. It also ends my tenure as a world-class lunch maker.
It wasn’t always so. Being an author and consultant put me on the road a lot, so their father shared the lunch making duties. The kids report to this day that he was a pragmatist, not an epicurean. Hence, my kids learned the art of negotiating. My son regails that he once learned to sell raw carrots in a swap for a candy bar–life skills made possible by his father’s food values.
This weekend, I lost myself to emotion in the peanut butter and jelly section of the grocery store. Whose rite of passage is this anyway–my daughter’s or mine? I can’t be sure. But I am sure of one thing: lunch making is a ritual I’ll miss, and other mothers tell me the same. In a world rife with chaos, being able to deliver a simple concrete act of comfort—a well-balanced lunch—is golden. It surprises me that more packaged goods brands don’t seize the day around lunch making.
Who makes your lunch?