Not all love notes are written.

I wish that were my very own line, but it’s not.

{I first saw it in a magazine for an advertisement for Hellman’s Light Mayo. }

Regardless of whether or not the line is mine, it really does speak to me.

And it doesn’t just speak to me as a wife, it speaks to me as a daughter and a teacher as well.

I made fun of my mom growing up, honestly sometimes I was even mean to her, because she took such good care of my dad. I thought she treated him too well. And I sometimes still make fun of her for it.

On top of keeping his house looking spectacular, loving his kids like no other, and working her butt off, she also: made him lunches, choose a night in with him because it’s what he preferred to do when sometimes she would have rather made him take her out, and if we were going out to dinner, lunch, or shopping, she always made sure he had a dinner at home.

Funny, though, I never complained when my mom packed my lunch. Confession: mom packed my lunch through my first year of teaching. High school lunches were packed by mom, occasionally a college lunch, and she’d put leftovers in Tupperware for me to take to work my first year teaching.

In fact, I got made fun of it by some women I worked with. They harassed me because I didn’t cook, they were downright MEAN. They made fun of me because I was so close with my mom. They gave me such a hard time.

Sometimes I’d be sitting in the teacher’s lounge (that was before I learned what a toxic place it was) and I’d be eating leftover spaghetti. I’d be feeling alone or picked on and somehow my mom’s dinner that she so lovingly put in a container for me to take to work, made me feel loved in spite of that.

I recognized my mom’s thoughtfulness. I knew she wanted me to have something good to eat at work, even though I was a full-grown adult, fully capable of making my own food. It meant a lot to me.

I see it in my own students. When students bring lunches their mom made them, sometimes I literally have to hold back tears. You can just see that mom loves her kid. One mom cuts her child’s peanut butter/jelly sandwiches out with a cookie cutter. Another one always leaves notes inside. And the one that really gets to me is the less traditional one. The one who packs a thermos full of soup. (Probably because my mom did that, too. And even as a first grader, I’d still eat all of the soup, even if it had gotten cold, because my mom had taken the time to heat up soup and pack it for me.)

I had to chuckle to myself when I first started making Zach’s lunches. “I’m so mom!” I’d think to myself. What surprised me even more is that I enjoyed doing it.

Everytime I put Zach’s lunch together, I feel like it’s another way of letting him know that I love him. That he’s worth that extra little bit of time and effort.

I make dinners a day ahead so that Zach can heat up a warm dinner when he’s has class that night.

Sometimes I like to think that when he’s at work and he opens his lunch, that he has a moment, much like my students do and I do, a moment where he feels that love from me.

Not all love notes are written.

I write mine daily in a homemade lunch.

How do you write nontraditional love notes to your husband or kids?