From the age of six through about 12, my mom would make my lunch every day. It usually consisted of the same four elements: sandwich, vegetable (usually carrots or celery sticks), a snack, such as pretzels or if I was lucky chips, and a dessert – typically a homemade cookie. It was a pretty good life, I must admit.
Then around 8th grade, my mom decided that I should start being responsible for my own lunch. At first, I didn’t like this new development. Making my lunch added at least five minutes to my morning routine and I really wasn’t psyched about that. That is, until the morning that I realized that packing my own lunch also meant deciding what went in it…
Instead of a sandwich, carrots, pretzels and a cookie, I started packing a sandwich, pretzels and two cookies. And then, three cookies! I quickly realized that having control over my lunch was actually a good thing; however, I was limited by the selection of foods that we had available in our home, which were typically very healthy. I decided to take things to the next level and accompanied my mom on her weekly grocery shopping trips. I began to add things to the cart when she wasn’t looking. At first, I started small – a container of Goldfish, Poptarts WITH frosting, and mini Ritz crackers with “cheese” in the middle. After a few shopping trips and no comments from my mom about the extra snacks, I became more bold, adding things like Dunkeroos, Double Stuffed Oreos and Gushers. My lunch went from healthy and well-balanced to, well, crap. The other kids at school were very jealous that my mom trusted me to be responsible and pack my own lunch. I tried to tell them that they just needed to show a little maturity, but not to worry because not everyone was as “advanced” as I was and it would come with time.
Yesterday at work, as I sat at my desk eating chips and contemplated going out to get a slice of pizza for lunch, I watched my co-worked carry by her lunch.
It looks like her mom is still packing her lunches! Thank you mom for shirking your parenting duties and forcing me into a life of unhealthy eating.