Looking at Facebook, it seems everyone is up to their eyeballs with labels, lunches and books for the start of school tomorrow. Suddenly school lunches have become a chore. I know this as I too have a tactile defensive 9 year old who hardly eats (fortunately I have a 10 month old guzzling monster who I know will become my future food muse) .
But today I found my way to inspire her and we are off shopping to prepare (together) her first lunch box for the new year. This may not last but I know that I have made the effort and I have created another memory for her.
She remembers these little things. Like when she was 5 and I printed silly lunch box labels from Martha Stewart and popped them on all her field trip lunches. Even though she has outgrown them she sometimes asks for them to be “hidden” in her lunch box as a surprise.
Take a breath and read this.
Then slow down, make silly jam sandwiches and make your memory.
TESSA KIROS APPLES FOR JAM, RECIPES FOR LIFE
As a child I wanted fizzy orange and special sandwiches held together with mystery. I wanted tiny coloured cakes and other things that I’d read about that impressed me. these are the things I want my children to have now-now, as I watch them lying in the grass hugging only this moment, while my mind is spinning with the washing machine and wondering what school lunch should be tomorrow.
For a lot of the time I feel as if we are in a relay race, swapping batons just in the nick of time, trying to get it all going a little smoother. But children are just so now. I try to take lessons from them-they want it now, to eat what they want now, to have fun now.
I will not force them to like the smell of boiled cauliflower, but I will paint better pictures in their bowls, let them make their own sandwiches, have apple bread when they come home from school, ratty and ravenous, and tell stories while we eat, and love them all the same whether they like meat or not. I will try to compliment them on their differences and insight and hold them up to the light of other moons, and maybe hand sew their marble sacks if they will have them in florals-just like the dresses I wanted to sew for my dolls, while I made mud pies and dreamed of being part of the circus.
And now I carefully weave things into lunchboxes: I give them chocolate bread with butter, fish pie and bright coloured fruit salad, roast chicken and crumpets. I will give them the things I dreamed about on my walks with my brother and sister. It is what I can give them from the depth of me..because I want to give them my best. My BEST chocolate cake.
I want to wash their sheets so they smell of tumbling hills and blossoms, and roll out crisp beautiful pastries; boil up bright and floral strawberry jams.
Let me forget and giggle with them, and leave apples lying around the house, with just a couple of bites taken out, and fly with the winds of now as I collect the pearls that spill from their mouths.
Let me scatter some inspiration onto them and hope to see it in their drawings-hope their suns are smiling, and that I am always drawn next to them.
Let me sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar on their paths, and hold hands as we collect apples and bright berries and watch them all joining together in the pot for jam.