on lunches

In three weeks, my biggest boy will walk between two heavy glass doors, down two longs hallways and into the start of first grade.

You may remember my apprehension last summer. I hadn’t been inside a school since my own first grade year and I approached the sending of my boy to a classroom with more than a little fear and trembling. The schedule, the structure, the supplies – it was all foreign to homeschool-graduate me. I hadn’t yet learned how to navigate school halls, manage a PTO event, set out the correct shoes for P.E. day, deal with the mountains of paperwork.

How was I to know even lunches had a learning curve? We started the year with peanut butter and jelly, but Troy prefers turkey breast and cheese with a little mayo. Granola bars are too crumbly for snacks, and bananas will only survive the trip if they are still bright yellow. Fruit cups are too hard to open at the lunch table. But pudding? Always good. As are cheese cubes, cheese sticks, cheese slices, cheesecheesecheese. And apparently there is a lunch hierarchy. Boiled eggs? Cool lunch. Mac and cheese in a thermos? Awesome. Goldfish? Not so cool.

And then I discovered the bell bottom jeans of the kindergarten lunch world. GoGoSqueez. Those green pouches of applesauce had become the status symbol of lunches at Troy’s lunch table, which he made clear by dancing and grinning and pointing in the grocery aisle. And who was I to say no? Natural, good ingredients, easy peasy for tossing into school lunches. We settled in to a lunch routine: turkey sandwich, GoGoSqueez, grapes, cheese stick. Sometimes a pudding, a cookie, a boiled egg.

I figure, to each his own. In my crowd? It was cool to wear our hair in braids and make our own clothes. In Troy’s? It’s all about the applesauce packets and boiled eggs.

Here’s to first grade, little man, and to everything we’ll learn together.


Beginning in September, a few friends and I are planning to devote one day each week to writing about our parenting journey. I’m just warming up a bit, so for now, will you join me by telling me something you’ve learned thanks to a child?


Speaking of going back to school, you don’t want to miss the grandiose Big Bad Back To School Bash! Ten individual prizes, one great grand prize, over $1500 of gear and gifts. Pretty spectacular!

Disclosure: GoGoSqueez sponsored one of the prizes for the Back To School Bash. But we haven’t been compensated in any other way for the opinions of this household – my boys just really love applesauce packets with cool little twist-off caps.

9 Responses to on lunches

  1. Nicole August 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I cannot believe how grown-up he is!!! Oh Ash! The beginning of the school year IS exciting. Caleb will be starting kindergarten in just three weeks… wowzer!!!! Wasn’t it just yesterday that our little guys were two and playing together???? So glad you are enjoying this season and learning something new at the same time. :) I’m right there with ya.

  2. Arianne August 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    First of all, he is so your clone, and SO DANG CUTE. That photo just oozes with his excitement!

    Second, this was such a fun post!
    We are big fans of GoGo SqueeZ, too, obviously. Go through them like water.

  3. LoveFeast Table August 16, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Holding your hand and thinking back this morning when I sent my oldest to 1st grade for the first time. It was the most bittersweet back to school moments in all the last 18 years.

  4. Samantha August 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    What a cute kid you have there! :) It must be hard to see them grow up! Your talk of school and school lunches makes me realize that it really IS “going back to school” season… eek.
    My Mom just has one student left for one more year; Yay!

    • Samantha August 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

      Oops, mean two years :)

  5. Vickie August 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    The girls school serves completely organic lunches, and you wouldn’t believe how much complaining I hear about it. Then, with adding a third lunch to the already high lunch cost(apparently we make too much money to get free and reduced lunch), Steve suggested, why don’t you make lunches this year. :S I wavered, back and forth and finally decided. Nope too much work. You never cease to amaze me at how you seem to be able to do everything with perfection. You’re awesome. P.s. Lindsey was wondering when she would get to see the boys again. They are missed.

  6. Megan (FriedOkra) August 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Oh, he’s so adorable. Blows my mind how BIG and grown he is now.

    Wait, goldfish aren’t cool? But I just stocked up at Costco!

    I am so glad you’ve introduced me to GoGo squeeZ. I’m totally getting some for Bean.


  7. the Blah Blah Blahger August 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    That’s the cutest dang picture!!! : )

  8. sweet momma August 15, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I was raised homeschooled too. Then I married a man that had already adopted two children. I can remember that feeling of awe the first time I had to go pick them up from school. I couldn’t find them outside, so I had to go inside and hunt for them. The whole establishment, dozens of people, large echoey halls, made me feel… very small! :) (Especially since I wasn’t even technically out of schooling age yet, so most of the kids flurrying around me were MY age!)
    Thanks for sharing your heart. Blessings on your 1st grade adventure!
    P.S. Your son has a very sweet, brave smile. He must be a champ!

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