My first blog post! Thanks for coming to have a look. This is all new to me, so please bear with me. It was really hard to pick a topic for my first post. I have so many ideas for future posts which I hope you’ll come back to see but this one seems quite apt with the start of school.
It’s been so lovely having Ruby here over the summer holidays. She turned twelve at the end of August, a baby of her year group and we spent time planning her garden party, as well as enjoying days out with friends and family and holidaying in France (blog post to follow).
I was dreading the start of school, mainly because we’d settled into a nice, lazy morning routine and the thought of the rushing and stressing every morning was filling me with dread. When you have a tiny baby, any sleep is welcome and it’s so annoying having to set your alarm although your baby is still sleeping, isn’t it?
I could let Ruby sort herself out in the mornings of course. She’s quite capable of getting her own breakfast, but I hate to think of her sitting downstairs eating alone, so I set my alarm for 6.45 each morning, wake her up and head to the kitchen to prep her breakfast. I also use this time to sort out her lunchbox. If I’m super organised, I pack it the night before but there are some days when that doesn’t happen.
I’d forgotten about our little tradition, until the first morning we got up for school a couple of weeks ago. For the last few years, I’ve been slipping something extra in her lunch box. It started off as a one-off, a little message of encouragement on a day she needed it but it’s become something much more.
Every day, I write a little note for her to read when she opens her lunchbox. They are our lunchbox love letters. They’re very short and often scribbled in haste but they’re so precious to us both. On occasion, Ruby has seen me writing the note as she’s putting her school blazer on and has turned away, not wanting to read it until she’s at school. She enjoys wondering what the note will say each day.
One day her lunchbox tipped over and the note fell out. She told me all about it after school, explaining that one of the boys in her class had found it fluttering around on the path next to their lunch benches. She told me it was ‘so embarrassing!’
Worried I may be completely ruining her street cred, I said sorry and should I not write them anymore? I was really surprised by her face. She didn’t want me to stop, she said. She loves reading them, she said.
In that second, I realised how important little things like this are. I could stop writing my little notes but they’re important to us and I’d really recommend it for anyone going through a divorce with children. It’s a little reassurance for them when you can’t be there to give it to them in person. Sometimes the notes simply say that I love her and at other times they are more specific, wishing her luck in a school event or exam.
Although Ruby’s older now and I could just send her a text to let her know I’m thinking of her, it’s not the same. It also helps if we’ve had a busy morning, or she hasn’t got her books ready for school the night before and we’ve had a little squabble as she’s leaving the house. When she opens her lunchbox, she knows I still care, even if I was fed up that I had to do French plaits with two minutes to spare the last time she saw me!
I wonder whether Hugo will like my lunchbox love letters when he goes off to school? Or maybe he’ll just politely say no thanks when I ask him if he wants me to continue.
One thing’s for sure, Ruby treasures them. And I know this, because she keeps each and every one…
I really hope you enjoyed reading my first post.