It is late at night here at the Rabbit house, and I’ve just
had my heart a little bit broken.
See, ever since Tigger started preschool years ago, I’ve
been writing a love note on the napkin that I tuck into her lunch box. The napkin notes have been a welcome and
expected part of the school lunch experience, and I have carried on the
tradition with Little Bit.
This evening, though, when I opened Tigger’s lunch box to
remove old wrappers and pack tomorrow’s meal, I found that Tigger had scrawled
a note for me on the napkin. It said
that I was not to put notes in her lunch anymore, especially notes that ended
with “Love Mommy.” The boys had teased
her about that “Love Mommy” part.
However, she continued, it would be ok if I wrote notes on her napkins
Yes, it was inevitable.
A third grader can only get so many kissy notes from Mommy before the
teasing begins. You know, nothing on
Earth can change a child’s behavior more efficiently than the censure of his or
her peers. If I had a teen who was stealing cars,
I would hire a bunch of kids her age to say rude, mean things to her about
car stealing, and she would never do it again.
And so I packed Tigger’s lunch and dropped in an unadorned
napkin. As it left my fingers I felt a
tiny piece of Tigger’s childhood dissolve into the atmosphere. It is fine and normal and healthy and it
still made me cry.
MORNING UPDATE: While I was
upstairs getting dressed, Tigger peeked in her lunch box to see what
I’d packed. When she found the blank napkin, she burst into tears.
I came down and found a note on the kitchen table. It said, “Please put a napkin note in my lunch. Love Tigger.”
And so I did.
Would it be wrong to teach her to say “F%$# YOU” to any boy who teases her about it?
UPDATE: There was no indication of trauma resulting from today’s
napkin note. However, I did get a message back from Tigger.
“Don’t give me egg salad anymore!”
Ok, I can live with that.