I am not someone who makes pack lunches very well.
It’s a simple but true fact. I think a lot about them – what to buy and how to make them. Yet, despite this huge amount of cerebral effort I still buy a jacket potato and beans most days at work.
I’m not sure why I never actually follow through. I can’t lie, part of it is effort but the rest is just a strange aversion to lunchboxes. Picnics I can do – because they are far more inclusive, a much more open door policy. A lunch box is personal.
Luckily Arthur is still at nursery so doesn’t need one yet but I have a growing dread about him starting school and most of it revolves around a lunch box. Well, to be truthful that, and the fact I will have to cook tea each evening.
This is far from a Bento-bashing post – I am in awe of people who put the time and effort into it. They have no more time that me, I am no less able than them and yet I flounder in the face of a lunch box. They have made it a nice thing to do and are much further down the road of acceptance than me.
Sometimes I find myself writing lists in my head of what I would put in my Arthur’s lunchbox. I tie myself in knots around veg portions vs fruit portions. Can I give him ham twice a week? Would he manage pasta salad. Do you make it at night or in the morning? But I never make myself a packed lunch – ever.
I don’t want him to grow up. Maybe my lunchbox phobia is all part of this. What if he can’t open his sandwiches or gets in a muddle and I’m not there. The simple fact may not be that I can’t make lunchboxes – more that lunchboxes are about freedom, exploring, going it alone and finding the world.
I want him to do it with a big happy Bento smile, fuelled with shaped sarnies and fun stuff to eat. I don’t want him to suffer at the hands of my neurosis. I have never been a lunchboxer but I think it’s time to try. I suspect all the greats in life have been lunchbox people, not reliant on shops or someone else but with forethought and foresight and a huge homemade sausage roll on the side.
I am not someone who makes packed lunches but I’m going to give it a shot and when the time comes, send my boy into the world for adventures and the best cheese sandwich I can muster.