It seems funny to me now, though it never did then, that she always signed my lunchbox notes MOM. Not Mom. All three letters capitalized. Well, it's no small miracle that the notes were even written. Herding four children up and out the door is a feat in and of itself.
Oh, I loved those lunch box notes. I treasured them in upper elementary when I first awakened to the realities of mean girl politics and by lunchtime my head was filled with Who Is My Friend Today? instead of What Are We Learning Today? Those notes were like a lifeline, a tangible link to a safe place at home. Home wasn't perfect, but it was home.
The first time I stuck a note in Dacey's lunchbox, I signed it MOM completely involuntarily. I stared hard at those three letters and swallowed down sadness. A disease I hate so, so much has robbed my MOM of the ability to write anything. She can't even sign her name on a check anymore. There won't be any love notes for my girls from her -- not of the written variety, anyway.
I don't write love notes for her lunch box every day. Getting one child up and out the door, it's a minor miracle. When I do write them, I write them for me and I write them for my mother and I write them for Dacey and I write them for her children. There will always be a safe place.
Tonight after her bath, she asked me to put braids in her hair so that she could have the waves she's always wanted. I worked my fingers through the straight, straight hair that I always wanted and asked her if she liked the note in her lunch. Yes, but I didn't show it to my friends. Good then. Our little secret.
A slender rope anchoring her heart back to MOM.
linking up (a little late today) with Heather's Just Write movement.