When my daughter was in first grade she struggled with going to school. She was assigned a very outspoken teacher and was intimidated by her. We would encourage her each day and assure her that she would be fine and that Mommy would be there to pick her up right after school. We thought of some creative ideas to help her get through the day. The one that she liked the most was receiving tiny letters inside her lunch box. She told me that it made her happy to see a letter from me. So of course, I would scribble something simple with each lunch. As time went by she decided that she didn’t want one everyday because she liked the surprise of receiving one. So, per her request I cut down on the letters and would send maybe one or two a week and eventually I forgot all about them. Not that I forgot about her but she seemed to outgrow the need for them. Plus, my son entered kindergarten, my second daughter entered pre-school and I gave birth to my fourth child. Mornings were now much more hectic and honestly all I could think about was getting them to school on time. Which unfortunately meant less time to write a letter. Eventually the letters became a thing of the past and I think we both forgot about them. And when we did remember it was on a weekend and then forgotten again by the start of the week.
This past week, I woke up unusually early one morning and got a head start on my a.m. responsibilities. A test of my son’s was laid out on the bar for me to sign. When I opened the junk drawer to get a pen, I saw my scribble pad and I remembered the notes. I jotted a quick note to my daughter and tucked it into her lunch bag.
I forgot about the note and she never mentioned it until later that evening. So far, we have a great relationship and she is the type of little girl that tells me all about her day. She came in to kiss me goodnight and said, “Mom, today I got into a fight with my best friend.” The sadness in her eyes tugged at my heart and I remembered how that felt to fight with your best friend. She explained the story in full detail and I ached for her when she told me she felt so sad (her words exactly) because another little girl was not talking to her either. It all happened before lunch. “Mom, I was so sad until I opened my lunch box and saw your note and then I felt happy again.”
Something made me write the letter that day, I couldn’t have predicted that it would be received at the perfect time but it was. She needed a friend that day and my letter let her know that she would forever have one in me.