Thursday, April 4, 2013

Loss and Magic

One of the kids in his class, the Boy reports - half in fascinated horror and half in TOTAL ENVY - brings in a lunchable and a pop EVERYDAY for lunch. And I get it - if I was in grade 5, this is what I'd want for my lunch, too. Remember when you were a kid and your hippy mom made you eat RAISINS instead of actual candy because it was the 1970s and you thought "FINE THEN, WHEN I AM AN ADULT I AM GOING TO EAT CANDY EVERY DAY" and now you're an adult and you probably DON'T*? That's how my kids are with lunchables. FINE, mom. We'll just eat them everyday when we're adults. Let's hope they don't.

*Not ONLY do I not eat candy everyday but I now make cookies with raisins in them because it turns out that raisins are DELICIOUS.

So to make it up to my kids, I sometimes make them homemade versions of lunchables, especially the little pizza ones. I get up early on Wednesday mornings (that makes me sound so virtuous) and make pizza dough and then I bake up a zillion little mini pizzas for the kids who are, I hope, pleased. And I did this yesterday except because yeast is weird, they became strange puffy pizza buns instead of little mini pizzas.

"Everyone thought they looked delicious and THEY WERE," said The Boy, when he got home. I wish I knew what I DID to make them but they were just one of the weird lucky flukes that happen when baking, probably never to be repeated.

I found it strange that our daily lives, our routine of going to school and packing lunches and buying groceries and doing the laundry continues on almost as though things were completely normal, almost as though we hadn't just suffered a huge loss. But we have - Bill's grandfather died on Good Friday and even though he was 93 and dying is to be expected when you're that old, it still came as a gut punch of shock.  One of the comforting things about having a routine, though, is the way it carries you through really hard times, the way it lets you go on auto-pilot until the wave of grief has stopped pulling you under.

Great-grandpa lived across the road from a general store and he would give the kids handfuls of change when we visited in the summer and they would dash across the road and come back with forbidden loot - pop and candy and even lunchables, once. Great-grandpa sat on the steps with the kids and tried out some of the lunchables with them and said, calmly, "Well. Those aren't very good, are they?" and the kids grinned at him as they pigged out with the hummingbirds flitting around overhead.

Now the store is closed and empty and no one lives in his house anymore and he is gone, too and the kids were so lucky to have had him in their childhoods, this lucky fluke that happened and will never be repeated.


  1. Aww. This is a beautiful post. My sympathies to you and your family.

  2. BECK STOP DOING THAT! I thought this was going to be a post about having Lunchables and pop and now I'm all teary-eyed! Goodness, what a beautiful, beautiful post. xoxo

  3. They are indeed lucky. My oldest faintly remembers my grandfather, who let him drive the tractor one day while sitting on Grandad's bony knees. But all others of that generation on both sides died before their great-grandchildren came along.

    This was beautiful. Even though I can't help thinking that you getting up early on Wednesdays to make mini-pizzas from scratch is just showing us all up. ;) xo

  4. I'm so sorry about Great-grandpa, Beck. I think "gut punch" is an apt descriptor; I think it always feels that way, even when you know it's coming.

    My kids used to be obsessed with Lunchables, too. Funny, they never ask anymore. I don't know if it's whether they lost interest or are simply resigned to a grim Lunchable-less future.

  5. That was a really lovely post!