Pulling into the driveway at 7:21am after driving Maisie to high school, I noticed Marley walking to the bus stop with an unusually sad expression on her soon-to-be-13-year-old face. Rolling down the window I asked, “Are you okay, pumpkin?“. (I can still get away with calling her “pumpkin” whereas if I said that to soon-to-be-15 year old Maisie she would shoot friggin’ laser daggers out of her eyes at me.)
“Dad, did you forget to pack a lunch for me?“, asked Marley innocently.
OMG. Pangs of what-the-hell-kinda-parent-have-I-become guilt rushed over me! So, thinking quickly, I opened the glove box of my lit-n-dope Dadmobile (aka: “the minivan”) and pulled out an unopened can of warm Coke, three cinnamon Altoids, a couple dusty Tic-Tacs, and two children’s Advil tablets (grape flavored, #almostasgoodasfruit) and said, “Um, gosh, no! Wait! I’ve got your lunch right here!”
“OMG! That’s okay Dad! I can just buy pizza today in the cafeteria!”, she said and smiled as I handed her $20 hoping she would quickly forgive me.
I felt really bad partially because I just gave away my what-if-we-get-caught-in-a-snowstorm-and-have-to-subsist-on-broken-Goldfish-crackers-and-gummy-bears-from-under-the-car-seats Emergency food provisions. But, also because after 28 weeks of school I finally have my lunch making, car pooling, and after school schedules running like a German train station! So the sad unmade lunch reminded me that I’m still human and not a $%&@! lunch making robot!! (Do the make a Roomba for making lunches AND vacuuming the house yet?)
It also reminded me that school is almost over and I won’t have to make lunches in the morning for the ENTIRE summer! Woo-woo!!! [Insert picture of me here jumping and dancing in my kitchen wearing nothing but tiny underwear and a cowboy hat. Oh, wait… forget about the tiny underwear part!]
And, yes, yes… I know, I know… the kids SHOULD BE MAKING THEIR OWN LUNCHES in the morning at almost 13 and 14 years old. But, as a Dad who likes to run a CLEAN kitchen, I would prefer not to wipe up mustard, peanut butter, and -god help me- pickle juice from the counters all morning. So, I just do it myself and let them feed the dogs! WAIT!! … did we feed the dogs this morning!?! NO!?!? Okay, then they can eat the Altoids and Tic-Tacs!
Summer can’t come too fast, people!!