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.