Once upon a time, there sits a girl: freckled nose, wavy hair, on the cusp of the oh-so-awkward stage, attempting to cover her shyness and vulnerabilities with coolness and confidence. Seated with her pals at a long table on a sticky chair, in a red-painted elementary school multi-purpose room.
She opens her theme lunchbox (not Barbie anymore, more like “Little House” becoming “Charlie’s Angels”). Inside is a turkey or PB&J sandwich on wheat bread. There is an apple or grapes, and carrots that won’t get eaten. She may even find a homemade chocolate-chip cookie. However, she will not find a Twinkie.
Then, at the bottom of her box, she discovers a note written on her napkin…
Oh, how my sister and I wanted Twinkies or Ding Dongs in our lunches. Our mom was not the Twinkie type. She was healthy in an unhealthy time: the late 1970’s when processed and packaged food exploded in popularity. It’s not that we never ate processed crud, just not very often. She grew up a Tomboy and farmer’s daughter raised on real food. Mom made our lunches and cooked for us almost daily.
My mother is marvelous. Truly, to know her is to love her. She is fun, funny, smart, gracious, generous, creative, positive, and my biggest fan. So, then why am I writing about not getting Twinkies in my school lunch?
You see, those lunch memories – what was in the box and not it the box – say a great deal. They represent who she is. Who she was.
She was a mama who put off her dreams to raise her girls. My mind reels at her maturity for one so young. I attribute this in large part, to my Grandma Marie. My mama’s mama was a beautiful example of motherhood.
Back to the lunchbox… Continue Reading