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Lunch Bag

28 May One Last Brown Bag Lunch

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Today was the last day I wrote �Aidan� on a brown paper lunch bag.

My heart skipped a beat as I pulled out the green sharpie.

I still look forward to writing his name. It�s one of the reasons I chose it. It flows effortlessly from my fingertips. And I love looking at the final result. Aidan. Such a fine name.

But, truth be told, I cursed many a morning as I made his lunch. Four lunches, actually, every morning for a lot of years. I�ll be one lunch down next year and this fact has me feeling a bit wistful today.

For 13 years, I�ve written �Aidan� on a brown paper lunch bag and kissed his cheek goodbye. For 13 years, I�ve watched him grab that bag right before he walked out the door. That little brown bag represents a boy�s life and a mother�s love and it has reduced me to a puddle of tears this morning.

In the beginning, it was a chubby little hand that grabbed the bag. He�d peek inside before shoving it into his backpack.

Now, it�s a slender young man�s hand that scoops it up, confident the contents are to his liking.

If I close my eyes I can still see and feel that little enthusiastic kindergartner screaming �byyyyyeeee mommmmmmm,� as he runs out the door, slamming it shut. Lingering in these thoughts, I also see a middle schooler laden with a backpack, a sports sac, his soccer cleats, the science project, and sighing with great drama as he asks me to open the door for him.

After all these years, I finally understand that itâ��s not the ceremonial moments that take my breath away. It’s the everyday, ho-hum, just-living-life moments that buckle my knees.

Living in the moment has been a mantra of mine ever since my first baby was born. I think I�ve done well with it. I recognize this glorious (or not so much) slice of time is unique and will pass quickly. Being a parent means I have a lot of the same moments and they start to feel mundane, common, burdensome. But choosing to feel each moment, and recognize how fleeting all these moments are, has made me understand quite acutely, that our lives are being lived fully, with everyday richness that astounds me. I blinked. My kids are now brushing their own teeth, tying their own shoes, doing their own chores and walking out the door, into their own life.

And so it goes.

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Karen Campbell Fahle
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Co-founder, Astral Road Media.

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