When I was a wee lass in elementary school, I had a few strikes against me. I was taller than all the boys, I was smart, when I played sports my parents made me wear these kind of glasses (Complete with head strap, of course. Good grief, why am I admitting this publicly?), and most importantly, I brought horrible lunches to school.
This was back in the day when options were extremely limited, since at that time nobody carried ice packs in their lunchboxes. And when I say lunchboxes, I mean lunchboxes, as in made of some kind of metal. We had none of these pansy soft-sided things the kids use today. Our lunchboxes could be used as impromptu seats or weapons, depending on the circumstances.
Anyhoo, I was the kid that nobody would trade with. I mean, who wants to trade for a room-temperature apple? My mother had recently completed her nursing degree and so foisted upon me the most healthiest of lunches imaginable. Dude, we are talking whole wheat bread when nobody but nobodyate whole wheat bread. Except maybe geriatrics looking to try out the newfangled Atkins diet, but certainly not your local fourth grader. Wonderbread was king, and I was the Duchess of Dullsville.
Keeping that in mind, I make sure that my son does not suffer the same lonely lunch fate that I did. No way was my kid going to watch everyone else trading food and be stuck with an orange as his best shot. I make sure that it’s healthy, but I always manage to pack some sort of treat.
The other day the Munchkin said to me, “Mom, you pack the best lunches in my whole class. Everybody always wants to trade with me.”
I almost had to wipe away tears as visions of a young me vainly attempting to trade a natural peanut butter and orange marmalade sandwich (on cardboard wheat bread, natch) for a Twinkie flashed before my eyes. The look of utter disbelief on the prospective tradee’s face stays with me to this day.
And they say you can’t live through your kids.