Every year the elementary school holds a "Special Person" lunch. The students are allowed to invite one to two guests to have lunch with them in the cafeteria. Last year was our first year in the school, and I scurried from lunch to lunch. Three different lunches, two on one day and one on another day.
I was thrilled to see my kids interacting with classmates and to meet a few friends I hadn't met before. The "Special Person" lunch was a great insight into the lives of my kids at school.
This year the paper came home and I had concerns. I'm working now. I wondered how I would get to each lunch when I only get a half hour for lunch every day. As I was asking my kindergartner about the lunch, my "too cool" third grader chimed in that I didn't need to go to his lunch. While my sixth grader told me the same, her comment was more to ease my pain of getting out of work than to push me away. But my little guy? Lately he's just been very wrapped up in being independent and a "big" kid.
I spend many days trying to get him to snuggle in just a little bit. Most days he doesn't budge. After some thought I decided to arrange to get to my kindergartener's lunch and abide by the wishes of my third grader. He was very clear he was good without anyone coming into school. Truthfully I was convinced and I didn't give it too much thought after our discussion that evening.
This week is "Special Person Lunch" at the school. Monday Hubby was working local and was willing to get to our little girl's lunch. I was relieved he was able to join her and that I wouldn't have to rush to the school. They had a wonderful time, sending me selfies and sharing food. I was able to stay at work and I was overjoyed Hubby was able to experience something special at the school.
Last night, my third grader was unpacking his lunch pack and he nonchalantly mentioned that I needed to remember that tomorrow is his "Special Person" lunch. I was shocked. I responded with a "Hey! You told me not to come!"
I asked him if he wanted me to go and he told me I couldn't because I'm working. I told him I would do anything for him. He smiled again. Then he told me it didn't matter I could do what I wanted.
I knew right then and there I was hitting up that lunch. I realized that he is still just nine. It's easy to forget because he's my third and life gets very chaotic. But he's not even double digits. He needs mommy hugs and for me to be there at events.
This morning I got an email from his teacher. She told me that my little guy was extremely concerned that I didn't know what time lunch was...and that he was worried I'd be standing out by the front desk and no one would help me.
This email made my week. Mama still mattered after all.
I signed into the school and waited in the hall for my son's class to bring us into the cafeteria. Out of nowhere my little guy was right with me, smiling ear to ear. He saw me first and there was no hesitation or annoyance, just happiness radiating from his little body. My "too cool" kid wasn't too cool at all. I couldn't believe I almost let him tell me he didn't need me there.
Kids don't know what is best, and I almost let my nine year old tell me he doesn't need anyone to show up. Every kid needs someone to show up. Whether it's for games, assemblies, concerts or special person lunches.
Don't let them tell you otherwise.
And always, always make them stop hugging first. You never know how long they'll need a good squeeze. It's a scary world out there.
Have a great week!