A Love Note To Ethan


It was a simple thing really. The girls had noticed their friends were getting little notes from their moms in their lunch boxes, and asked me to send them an I Love You note. And of course I did. But I couldn’t give them a love note and not give Ethan one…he loves getting those notes, too. So Jason and I wrote little love notes for the girls. They can’t read so we just told them that we loved them.


For Ethan, I wrote more. The night before, Ethan finished reading a fourth grade level book and I was very excited for him. And he was proud. So on his note I wrote something along the lines that I loved him and I am so proud of how good he is reading.

Off to school they all go, not knowing I put the little love notes in their lunch boxes. When the girls got home from school, I asked if they got the notes and they said yes. Not nearly the excitement level I expected.

Then we went to pick Ethan up from his Tae Kwon Do class. He was getting in the car and was thirsty, so he started opening up his lunch box to get his thermos. As he did, the little note blew away.

He said “Uh oh mom your heart blew away” and immediately started crying. I mean sobbing. He was so upset. I put the car in park and asked him what was wrong. He could barely even speak he was crying so hard.

Apparently the boy sitting next to him at lunch saw the note and started teasing him about it. Saying things like “Oh Ethan misses his mom so much she has to write him notes in his lunch” and then “everybody” started laughing at him.

He was embarrassed.

I felt like a big jerk. My little love note caused him to be teased and cry harder than I’ve seen him cry in a very long time.

I promised him that I wouldn’t put anymore notes in his lunch, and he said “But I like when you do that mom! I want notes in my lunch.”

So we made a deal. I would write notes on regular paper and tape them into the bottom of his lunch box where no one will be able to see them. He also told me that it’s okay if I want to send jokes in his lunch that he can share with his friends.

My sweet boy still wants love notes, but he is growing up and being introduced to the world of jerks. We explained to him that his “friend” was probably just jealous because his mom didn’t put notes in his lunch. He said that’s true, and that he felt sad that his friend didn’t get notes. The kid has a heart of gold.


  1. This breaks my heart for Ethan!! Such a sweet boy, and glad that he still wants the notes. It's amazing, in a shockingly awful way, how cruel kids can be. What would happen if ALL the kids got notes like this from their parents? This is one of my worries with my son, who is also a very tender hearted sweetie who still gives me kisses goodbye in front of people. When will these tender moments stop? When will they become embarrassing? Happy to read you guys found a way to still be able to have this sweet lunch time connection. laura recently posted..Deployed Straight to HELL – entry5My Profile
  2. Ugh, kids. My mom volunteers at my daughters school as the lunch monitor. She says a lot of kids, both boys and girls, have sweet notes. She ends up reading most of them to the younger kids. I recently put a note in Emma's lunch after a hard morning, she was thrilled. I'm so glad you found away to get those notes in. It's going to be so hard when they don't want them anymore. Cam Bowman recently posted..Meet Oswald, the lucky rabbitMy Profile
  3. What a sweet, sweet boy!! I loved this story. I could see my son doing the same thing. :) Kristin Shaw recently posted..Friday Favorites: September 12My Profile
  4. Every now & then, my son will see someone he knows and, suddenly, he's a lot less interested in having me carry him wherever we might be going, so I know the time will come when he's less interested in hugs & kisses & everything else that comes with "being embarrassed in front of your friends," and that makes me sad. I love hearing how he loves it, even though the whole "other kids are assholes" bit shines through. John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted..Where I present unsolicited advice for your next raceMy Profile
  5. What a total sweetheart. I have to admit that the reason I've never jumped on sending my kids notes is because I was worried that they would get teased. But that seems pretty silly, doesn't it? Shell recently posted..Seeing the World Through Blue Colored GlassesMy Profile
  6. That is so sweet! I truly enjoyed this story. Thank you so much for sharing it! I have a son myself, though he's still only seven months old, but I hope that school bullying doesn't get any worse than it already is.
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