In yoga you hold poses until it becomes uncomfortable, balance your body weight on your arms, sit in a seat except there is no chair and hold it until your legs burn, do sit ups, and at the end of 75 minutes in a 98 degree room, you get to rest in Shavasana.  Shavasana is said to be the most important pose of the entire class because it allows your body and mind to rest and reset after all your hard work.  In Shavasana, you are supposed to clear your mind of all the craziness of your life and just BE.

I find the mental relaxation portion of Shavasana impossible.  I cannot stop my mind from thinking of all the things I want to do or the people I need to talk to.  It is so bad that one time I was in Shavasana and the yoga instructor told us to stop thinking of the things we need to do today.  She told us to stop making grocery lists in our head. Well guess what I was doing at that exact moment?  Making my grocery list in my head.

What I do most often in Shavasana is write blogs posts in my head.  I come up with a topic and then I write a few paragraphs while I have a moment to rest.  Some of my Shavasana blog posts are pretty good and I end up using them and some of them suck and I discard them into the trash bin of my brain.

While at the Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco a few weekends ago, I came up with this blog post on packing lunches while in Shavasana.  Random, I know.

My mom has been making lunches for more than 35 years.  She still makes lunch for herself and my dad to this day. She made lunch for me and my sister from the elementary years through high school.  Like most kids, I did not appreciate the love and hard work that went into that morning task.  I expected it.  I had my demands.  Back then I would only eat a roast beef sandwich and shunned the turkey sandwich, while my sister did the opposite.  I would trade the homemade fruit leather my mother dehydrated for me that week for a twinkie.  I threw perfectly good food out when it didn’t please me.

Fast forward to today and I find myself making four custom designed lunches for my four custom designed kids at 7am each morning.  It goes like this: Preston likes ham on a roll but no cheese.  Ava likes cheese on a roll and ham when she is in the mood.  Violet and Elsa would prefer peanut butter and jelly but Ava and Preston would not.  Ava likes blueberry yogurt but everyone else wants vanilla.  Violet loves bananas, Elsa and Preston love berries and Ava loves all fruits.  Ava likes a bagel with strawberry cream cheese, Violet and Elsa will eat plain cream cheese on their bagel and Preston likes peanut butter.  Nobody but Ava wants a plain old piece of cheese in their lunch, but a couple of them will have slices of salami.

Preston would love this one. I can tell the Star Wars character sandwiches and perfectly patterned fruit would take me an extra 10 minutes. That lunch box is for the “only child” or mothers with OCD.

This could go on for days.  This is what I go through each morning trying to make lunches that:

A.  the kids will eat

B.  the kids will not throw in the trash can at school

C.  the kids will not trade out for inferior products

It is a complicated business packing lunches for four kids with different tastes.

I can predict what the critics might say: why do you do it to yourself?  Just pack them the same lunches and either they can eat it or starve!!

That’s bullshit.  It is unreasonably important to me that A, B and C happen in my life, and I am not even a food obsessor.  I do not give my children a choice at dinner; they eat what I serve them.  At lunchtime I have no way of knowing if they are eating the lunch I packed them or trading their organic apple and carrot sauce for gummy bears, so I am willing to take an extra five minutes each morning to make sure they have good food that they will eat for lunch.

lunchbox 2
Are you kidding me with the ham flower Redbook?

Only 14 more years and I am done packing lunches.  Perhaps during the next Shavasana I can ponder whether the extra five minutes I spend custom packing lunches each day will have been worth my time in the end.  Whether any of it even matters.


Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

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What Is Up With Packing Lunches?
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10 thoughts on “What Is Up With Packing Lunches?

  • January 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    What fool would trade a Twinkie for a fruit leather? Especially a homemade fruit leather that probably had no added sugar. You should just do what my mom did and stuff cash in their pocket in the morning and let them figure lunch out.

    • January 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Ha ha ha!! The Jewish lunch box.

    • January 29, 2014 at 5:52 am

      Are you trashing the fruit leather I made out of my homegrown strawberries? It’s true she traded it for a Twinkie and was delighted with herself. I still HATE packing lunches every morning but I agree with Meg. It’s important to try and make sure they are eating something nutritious each day especially with the demands on their little brains at school. I love the Jewish lunch box. That made me laugh.

  • January 29, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Try what I often got. A tomato sandwich on white bread wrapped in wax paper.
    I did say to your mother last week after making lunches for your kids, “why doesn’t Meg make them all the same thing, they would eat it”. Now I know. but, would they eventually become less fussy? Someone must have gotten a grant to study this problem.

  • January 29, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I made my kids lunches until about 3rd grade. Then, for some reason, one night I made it into a “project”, I guess you’d say, with Johnny. (The teacher in me.) I put out a variety of things for him to choose from and taught him how to carefully make a sandwich, peel carrots, and bag up everything. He thought it was fun. He thought he was privileged and pretty grown up, since Alissa still had to have her lunch made by me. ( He still loves to cook, as do all my kids). Then he wanted to do it again and it just became the routine. When Alissa and Emili got old enough, they “got” to make their own lunch. Johnny, of all the kids, STILL puts carrots in his lunch every day, he laughingly told me a while ago! But here’s the kicker – after instituting this well oiled machine of lunch- making by the kids, I kinda missed doing it for them! It IS an act of love. So now I make Ken’s lunch for him everyday that he’s working at home…a sandwich, an apple, some chips, and a drink. Sometimes a cookie. Old habits really never die.

    • January 29, 2014 at 8:43 am

      yes that sounds good Joy. Ava makes her own lunch sometimes but since I am doing the other 3 lunches and she is the easiest to pack lunches for, I just throw food in hers as I go. I like the idea of giving the kids the responsibility of packing their own lunches when they are able!!

  • January 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Maybe you Americans haven’t heard of Vegemite! My lunches always consisted of the staple..Vegemite & Cheese
    Yum!Yum! Couldn’t wait for lunchtime at school, so I had some at playtime.
    So Meg,now you have another option OK?

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