Yesterday my precious daughter Katy turned twelve and before she left for school I asked her to please write down what I could bring to school for her birthday lunch. I handed her a sticky note and a pen and told her to put it on the counter when she was done. I didn’t think anything about it until a few hours later when I grabbed the note, drove to Noodles and parked in the parking lot. I picked up the note and before I got out of the car I saw them…two words. Two words that changed my whole day. Two unexpected words at noon on a Wednesday written by a twelve year old with no idea how they would affect her mom. But they did.
Sitting there clear as can be on Katy’s lunch list under the mac and cheese and the sprite and the rice krispie treat was another part of her order, it said: “you please.” I re-read it and as my busy brain slowed down I realized that those words meant me, mom. She wanted me on her birthday. WHAT!?!? And sure enough, when I showed up at school with the Noodles Bag in hand, Katy asked me to come in. Wanted me to come past the school lobby. Wanted me to come see her locker that her friends had decorated. Wanted me to come sit in the lunchroom with her and her friends while they ate. My middle school daughter wanted me to be a part of her day, a part of her friends, a part of her birthday. A true gift to me-on HER special day.
In my busy mom’s life of running around nurturing everyone else, these unexpected gifts to me are true treasures. Glowing beacons in the darkness of crazy busy children’s lives shouting to me that I am a great mom, that my kids love me despite my quirks my mistakes my yelling, my learning how to parent. Despite all I do wrong, or feel that I do wrong, THEY LOVE ME. And to me, this means that I am doing something ok. Something right.
The fact that my daughter wrote “you please” on her lunch order and the fact that she asked me to join her in the middle school lunchroom might have been just a passing thought for her. To me, it was a heartfelt song singing praises to me, telling me I am loved. I am wanted. And who doesn’t want to feel that way?
What a present I received on my daughter’s birthday. A forever gift I will never forget. Happy unbirthday to me.
Thank you darling Katy. I love you so much. May this year be your best one yet.