Thursday, October 22, 2009

(Last) Lunch With a Loved One

Liv's school had 'Lunch With a Loved One' yesterday. I like this program for a couple reasons. First, they have two a year and they divide the school up. So there is never one day for all the loved ones. On each of the designated days, fully half of the kids will be eating lunch with their buds as usual instead of with a guest. So there is never that one kid eating alone while everyone else eats with their loved ones. And that brings me to the second thing I like: It's not a parents luncheon or a grandparents luncheon; it's lunch with a loved one. Not all kids have parents or grandparents who can make it to the school. Heck, not all kids have parents or grandparents. Asking them to invite 'A Loved One' levels the playing field a little bit. I like that.

So I marked the calendar, but forgot to record what time Liv's lunch was. I told her it was no biggie, I'd just call the school in the morning. She left the following note on the table for me as a reminder. A reminder that I'm a moron...

My teacher is Mr. Geist.
Mr. Geist is not pronounced Geest.
You could probably just say The Green Team.
That would work.


You know. For a simpleton such as yourself who might not be able to get the complicated pronunciation of my teachers name right.

She went on to inform me that I could hug her at school and I could call her any fond nickname I wanted to but that I was not to kiss her under any circumstances because kissing is against school rules. I guess that's good...

So, armed with the accepted pronunciation of her teachers name and the official school policy on PDA's, I showed up at the school right on time with lunch for the two of us. She was happy to see me. I refrained from kissing her. I did not refrain from calling her Punky Punk.

We were joined for lunch by her buddy C. and his mom. Liv and C. were in pre-school together and have had the same teachers almost every year. In the friend department, she could do a lot worse. Liv and C. explained to his mom and I that the school was really showing off. That the lunch they served was much nicer than the usual lunch and that half the students were eating lunch in their classroom to make room for the loved ones, thus providing a much quieter and more civilized environment. The effort did not go unappreciated.

After that we took a quick walk through the hallways to her classroom, artwork was pointed out and admired, and we headed out to the playground. Where I was promptly ditched in favor of younger more agile playmates who were in no danger of forgetting the rules and accidentally kissing her.

I love and hate that part.

I hate being ditched.

But I love sort of getting a glimpse of my child in her natural habitat. I love seeing her interact, not only with her friends but with the whole school community. I love how carefree and happy she looks when she plays outside. I love that she loves her life.

This was my last 'Lunch With a Loved One'. The program doesn't continue into Jr. High and that's probably for the best. I don't think I love ANYONE enough to risk entering a crowded noisy hormone addled Jr. High cafeteria (well, I DO, but, you know, I'd rather not)... So it was a little bittersweet. But mostly sweet.

Go ahead and grow up, my little Punky Punk. But take your time. There's no rush.

And I can still kiss you when you get home, right?

27 comments:

thatgirlblogs said...

ohhhhh she is cute, and I love the lunch idea.

Housewife Savant said...

Awww...Tam. My middle Doll has an around-the-clock ban on kissing. It's unfair, especially to the youngest Doll who has to kiss me extra.
Darling likes me a LOT now that she doesn't have to live with me, so she's kissing me again.
XOXOXOXOX
OXOXOXO
XOXOXOXOXOXOXO
I also enjoy seeing my offspring in their natural environment. They're no here near as screwed-up as I'd think. =)
XOXOX

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

That is great and so glad that you have this memory. Gosh, my schools growing up sucked. Not only did they NOT have a "lunch with loved one" outing but we didn't even take school field trips. I was seriously robbed!

By the way, I love Punky Punk. Great nickname.

Badass Geek said...

Apparently her teacher is a bit touchy when it comes to how his name is pronounced.

mama-face said...

The 'loved one' part is an excellent way to put it. Our elementary school has Dads and Donuts and Moms with Muffins. Even if the child is living with both parents; there are times when for other reasons Dad or Mom can't be there. Yesterday the reminder note for moms and muffins (too presh) was sent home and in the list of other options for your Mom was Dad. Ha. That just cracked me up. Let's call it ANYONE YOU CAN FIND! or 'loved one'.

I get the ditched feeling; I wanna hold on to him...but I want him to go off to play even more. I think he needs the friends and has me any old time.

as always...excellent post.

Traci said...

Oh, man. What a touching story but it also breaks me up a little. My six year old has already put the nix on kisses. Well he says that but then he makes a BIG point of wiping my kisses off, which he knows will only result in more kisses.

He just started kindergarten, though. I can't even imagine junior high.

MaryRC said...

Oh the pulling away from parents is a necessary evil isn't it? When Z gets out of the car at school drop off, I belt "I love you" I love it when he forgets to not be cool and hollers it back instead of slamming the door for fear another kid will hear.

MiMi said...

The other day I helped in Kolby's classroom and it was so fun to see him in his natural habitat!! So cute to see what they do when they aren't paying attention to you and what you might think. Sounds like you had a great time!

carma said...

As a fellow simpleton, it took me a long while to realize that the reason my son didn't want me around his friends at school was that I have an unconscious habit of patting him on the head. I'd done this since was a toddler. Didn't see the big deal. gosh!

Glad you were able to go and enjoy and not cause embarrassment. Well done!

Alicia said...

awww that's so sweet! i love that they do that! and how funny of her to leave a note....classic!

Becky said...

That is so sweet. Your daughter will remember those lunches years from now:)

I too LOVE the name they call it. When my daughter's old school had a parents day, there was the impression that you could bring anyone...but still, it wasn't Called that.
And we always would collect a stray friend to eat with us who's parent hadn't been able to come. I always felt so bad for those kids..

Good job Momma:) You did good!

Anita said...

This is such a lovely post. I also like the "loved one" part, so much more open. Ahhh yes, the no kissing age. Nick only lets me kiss his head now, not his cheek even...the nerve. When he is asleep I kiss his face all I want!!!

Debbie said...

How sweet that her school does that. And no, I don't think those things typically continue into the middle school years.

blueviolet said...

That's so sweet and I'm sorry that it was your last lunch but what a note to end on.

:)

vixensden.com said...

The instruction nearly killed me dead with laughter. Oh how I miss my kids as youngsters. In junior high we had a program called shadow a student day. Instead of lunch (like in elementary school) each student gets to bring an adult who shadows the student through their day. Of course, they make it an abbreviated day and the teacher's usually do something special instead of regular lessons, but it was great fun!

Oh and there were ALL kinds of rules from my kids about PDAs in junior high.

Tsquared417 said...

Love it.

otin said...

If my mother had come to eat lunch with me at school, I would have run away, screaming! LOL!

kys said...

My oldest has a firm No Kissing Policy. I can kiss the oldest as barter for something like reading him a book or playing a game. Other than that I'm just waiting on grandbabies. Sniff.

Pam said...

What a great event. I love that the school calls this Lunch with a Loved One and that only half the kids participate each time. Sounds like this school is sensitive to the feelings and differences of the kids' family dynamics. It is bittersweet, though, to know this is the last one. *sniff, sniff*

Hit 40 said...

Wonderful program by your school!! I have a friend whose ex husband seems to think he can just show up to school and eat lunch with his son... HELLO!! No one does this. Very embarrassing for the little boy. He even tells his dad to stop it. I think this just encourages the ass to do it even more...

He could take him out to lunch. Being the only kid with a parent at the table is a little odd for a child.

FranticMommy said...

aawwwww...that was an awesome post Tammy. Just AWESOME.

Unknown Mami said...

Aww, I'm glad she picked you as the Loved One and not the cashier from the corner store.

BONNIE K said...

That sounds like such a nice event. Our kids' school had something like that, but they couldn't invite a parent - could be anyone else. Once an aunt came, once a friend came, and once grandma came. And they felt so honored to be chosen.

Gibby said...

What a great opportunity!

I LOVE that she left you that note, that is priceless. You should keep it and give it to her when she has her first baby, and make sure you are guffawing when you do it, knowing that you can leave when her baby starts to fuss at her.

OK, kidding! I love reading about your interaction with your kids. You are such a cool mom.

JennyMac said...

How darling! What a great idea.

Sandy said...

So sweet! I have no doubt you are the coolest mom in the school.

Vivienne said...

Awww!
Well written (as always) and made me smile. I may or may not have had a little something in my eye that caused me to tear up, too.