Working close to home is a bonus which I am really appreciative of.
I see many sights and sounds at my job which are poignant and heart rending. And so far the most poignant, the most thought provoking have been the new lunch boxes.
Every morning the kids who are able, put their lunch boxes into the fridge. The ones who aren't able, are looked after by teachers and their assistants. We feed and assist in feeding these kids, especially the younger students. I was struck by the newness and pristine state of the kids lunch boxes and cooler bags. To myself, I admired them at how nice they looked and then it hit me like a thunderbolt. I can't begin to explain how I felt.
At home I have Tupperware lunch boxes, put onto the sink for me to nightly wash and get organized for the next day. They are scuffed. scratched. cracked (Mickey's) and have bits bitten off them (Sammy's). Billy-Joe has had his lunch box since day care, and is travelling well,but has that worn look about it. I have had name tags peeled off, the lunch box scraped along the ground. stood on, thrown at someone, and generally mistreated. They have been lost and found again, they have had twigs put in them and dirt. They come home with remnants of lunch, banana peels and apple cores and other unknown slush. The dirt has stuck to the food remnants. And I have roused at the kids at the state of their lunch boxes.
The lunch box is cracked because they could step onto it.
The lunch box is scuffed, because they have been able to scrape it along the ground.
The lunch box is dirty, because they have been able to eat their food unsupervised in the playground and have been able to explore and add twigs and dirt to it.
The name tags are faded or half off, because they have the fine motor skills to peel them off.
The corner of the lid is bitten off because they can navigate something to their mouths with deliberation and intent.
The lunch box has been lost because they have eaten their lunch and been able to get up to go and play.
I won't ever look at these worn lunch boxes the same way again.
I don't want new looking lunch boxes.