We're lucky that my daughter's school is very close to our home that I am able to send her lunch whenever she craves warm food.
I remember my own mom would drive to my school too, to bring us hot lunch. Together with my sister, we would eat in the car just by the school's parking lot.
When my daughter was in first grade, she experienced some form of separation anxiety. From the short two to three hours she was spending in preschool, she was now suddenly spending a full day in school.
There were some days that she would cling to me in the mornings not wanting to go to school so I would sometimes stay in her classroom for a few minutes until she was able to settle down. She was never like this in preschool. She was always excited to go to school to be with her friends. I guess the eight hours or so of being away from me was just a little too much for her.
To ease her anxiety a bit, I promised her that I would bring her lunch whenever my schedule would permit so I could get the chance to say a quick hello in the middle of her day. On the days that I couldn't visit her, I would insert hand written notes in her lunchbox just to let her know I was thinking about her and some short reminders like- "don't forget to return the book you borrowed from the library today!"
And this began a wonderful exchange of notes between the two of us! She would come home with notes and letters and drawings especially for me. When work would prevent me from coming home before her bedtime, I made sure to leave her a note pasted on her bedroom door and she in turn would leave me a note by my bedside table.
She's all grown up now, all of 14 years old, and I'm glad we've never outgrown writing letters to each other. In this age of text messages, email, twitter and what have you, we've managed to stay in touch in a more personal way.
I don't send her a lot of letters with her lunch as much as I used to... she very gently told me to stop sending notes when she was about 11 years old because she was getting teased about it in school :)
Raising a teenager definitely has its challenges and I've found that this way of communicating to each other works for us. We have a good relationship, but we also have our arguments and misunderstandings. We have long talks at bedtime, but for those times that we can't find the words to say, we write it down.
I'm glad I kept all our lunchbox letters. I go back and read them sometimes, when I'm feeling nostalgic and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Happy Valentine's Day, B! I love you! Know that I'm always here for you.