Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homeschool to Public #3 - the Lunchbox

This school-year is going to be different from all the other school-years our family has experienced. For the first time, my 9yo and 7yo are going to school. After six years of homeschooling, our chickies are going to take their first test flight into a new way of life, and mom (that’s me – yippee) is going to get a sabbatical. Since there are so many things that I want to capture as we make this transition, I will capture many of my thoughts in a series of posts over the next couple of months.
At one point last winter, Anna asked me, "If I go to public school, will the I get a lunchbox?" I had forgotten about that until it came time to get them ready to go to public school this summer.

I asked my friends who helped me out with school shopping what their thoughts were about lunchboxes and again got great response. Ideas about hot lunch versus cold-lunch, types of lunch bags, and the ease of prep and eating. While I have offered my kids the opportunity for hot-lunch, they are still quite pleased to have momma make lunch and pack it with treats from home.

The funny thing was, that during all the shopping, Anna's biggest concern was the lunch-box. Are we going to get it today? Where are we going to go to get it? What will it look like? The crayons, notebooks, clothes didn't matter nearly as much as The Lunchbox. And the morning we finally got it, seemed to settle something for her. She knew she was ready. She had a way to feed herself, but the importance of it to her was clearly about more than food.

The lunchbox has remained an important part of Anna's days. She makes sure things are packed, that her thermos is filled (with water, I love that!), and reminds me to include a little note. The school day ends with The Lunchbox being emptied. For some reason she loves to save something from the day to eat at home. And she always comments on the little note.

I don't think I will get a full understanding of the significance of The Lunchbox. I'm okay with that. I'm amused by that. I think she looks so sweet with her Hello Kitty stuff, and I'm delighted that she wants a lovenote from me every day.

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