Friday was a busy day for me. After getting the wee ones off to their separate schools, I had a PTO meeting for Mister Man’s school then was volunteering until 4pm for an event there, which meant I had to leave in the afternoon to pick up Little Miss. Oh yeah, and it was the first grade picnic. After that, my schedule had me taking the wee ones plus Mister Man’s friend Violet (not her real name) to the chiropractor and then back to school for their carnival.
Needless to say, there was a lot to remember that day, and the morning was a little hectic – even more so than normal since Violet’s mom had a class that day and needed to drop her off at our house early.
I got the wee ones out the door, and then I realized that I needed to pack a lunch for myself for the picnic. And it needed to be shelf stable since I was going to be at the school until lunchtime. I hadn’t planned this out, and I needed to be walking out the door pronto.
I grabbed a pack of Flatout Wraps and a pouch of tuna, plus a pint of grape tomatoes I had sitting on the counter. Done and done.
The morning was as hectic as anticipated, but everything went reasonably well. At 12:15, I took my sad little packed but not actually made lunch out to the courtyard to meet Mister Man. And of course the lovely blanket that lives in the storage compartment of my car was mysteriously not there. But that’s ok – it was warm and sunny and nice.
Once the first graders came out, Mister Man started eating his lunch, while I ripped open the tuna pouch and used my fingers to lay it on the flatwrap.
And thus appeared Violet.
With both her parents working, she’d told her teachers that she was having her picnic with us – with was fine with me. I asked where her lunch was. I learned her mom had ordered hot lunch for her and that she didn’t have a lunch. Except that hot lunch for first graders had been canceled because of the picnic.
And so I shared my lunch – I wasn’t going to eat the entire tuna packet, and I had three flatwraps in the package. I made her a sandwich and offered her some grape tomatoes. She took the sandwich, but unfortunately she doesn’t like tomatoes.
Instead, Mister Man shared his grapes with her – since she also doesn’t like carrots, either. It turns out she also doesn’t like plain tuna on a flatout wrap. Bummer.
The family next to us had a huge picnic – as apparently did most of the families; I was one of the few who didn’t have a dozen donuts, a package of eclairs, pizza or Subway takeout – and they gladly shared their Goldfish crackers, Milano cookies, and Fruit Roll-Up with Violet. She picked up a sandwich from another family and grazed the picnic gathering the yummiest of the treats from the picnic.
No one minded sharing, and she was happy to have a special lunch.
At the end of the school day, I gathered up Mister Man and Violet and returned to the event where I was volunteering. I had Mister Man work on his homework while he waited, and Violet insisted she had none. Not believing her, I checked her backpack.
Where I found her lunchbox.
Yep, sitting nestled quietly in her backpack was her lunch that her mom had packed for her. The apple was still wrapped in a paper towel, the veggies in their container, a yogurt in a special container, and a sandwich in its little bag. Untouched.
I looked at her in disbelief. Ummm, Violet, did you know your mom packed you a lunch, Sweetie?
Is there a reason you told me that you didn’t have a lunch today?
Well, I didn’t want to eat it.
Oh. Of course.
I did tell her mom later – making sure that she knew no one was upset – who let me know that not only did Violet know that she had a lunch, but that Violet had also helped her mom pack it and had decided what to put into it.
What a stinker!