Let There Be Light


I can see it, smell it, and almost touch it.

It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.

And by tunnel I mean my daughter’s school year.

In two weeks I will enjoy a treasured reprieve from the worst mom job everpacking school lunches.

I abhor the near daily ritual, which hurts my brain, as much as it does my wallet.

I’ve endured this penitent practice for nearly three years and I still haven’t figured out what I can pack that my now 8-year-old won’t toss into the school’s 80-gallon garbage barrel.

Aside from the torment of devising a viable menu, I am forced to deal with the incomprehensible waste that occurs when I pack school lunches.

My fickle kid only exacerbates the cycle of frustration that goes something like this:

Kid falls head over heels in love with particular lunch item; mother rejoices; kid begs mom to stock up on item; mother obliges; kid comes home after a week eating said “favorite” item and vows never to let it pass her lips again.

Believe it or not, the last part of that sequence is a major revelation.

For months, I thought I was the greatest mom on the face of the planet because my kid came home with a completely empty lunch box.  What’s more, she’d come home hungry.  Naturally, I concluded that I wasn’t packing her enough to eat and would stuff even more food into her Scooby bag.  Little did I know that all those late nights spent filling tiny Tupperware containers with healthy, kid-friendly treats was all for naught.  Turns out my daughter was unabashedly dumping the three-course lunches I packed straight into the cafeteria trash.

Her reasoning:  “I wasn’t hungry for what you packed me.”

Had I just filled her lunch box exclusively with chocolate chip cookies

Needless to say, I made some drastic changes to my kid’s lunch, though not all of them have been successful.

Hopefully, I’ll figure it out before she leaves for college.

I keep reminding myself:  “There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.”



This entry was posted in Viewpoints and tagged , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.