Hey Lunchable. Hey…
I see you, in the corner of the fridge, my sweet square-shaped meal time EpiPen, and I could kiss you on the mouth — assuming you had one in there somewhere. Someone once told me, “It doesn’t take a culinary genius to open a Lunchable.” And while that may be true, you just don’t get enough credit do you, my sanity saving friend?
Yes there are parents out there who hate you and would prefer to not feed their children a processed dumpster fire of ingredients with the nutritional value of a maxi pad, but there are also families who live without electricity and I’m not equipped to be a pioneer.
So reach for you I do.
You’re charcuterie for children. You’re the only thing all the kids can agree on and if they don’t? Well, you give us options. Turkey? Done. Ham? Done. Pizza or nachos? Done and done. You even manage to pack in a drink and a dessert — as if I didn’t love you enough already.
You’re my go-to if we run out of snacks for school.
You’re my best friend all summer long when the front door opens and closes so much with an influx of neighbor kids I have to disarm the security alarms and find myself yelling “Hey who’s here? How many of you are there?,” and throw you out like swag into the crowd at a baseball game when everyone gets hungry.
You’re a glorious reminder of days gone by — 0f a youth lived eating you with my friends in a world where there wasn’t a wealth of internet parenting information out there, admonishing our moms for feeding us your contents which, come to find out (thank God someone warned us now!), would cause cancer/brain damage/infertility/daddy issues/an unhealthy attachment to plastic packaging/the desire to binge watch Netflix for days…(okay maybe I made some of those up) and we could just enjoy creating stacks of varied sizes and turkey, cheese, cracker ratios in peaceful ignorance.
And sometimes, precious dear Lunchable, you’re just really, truly, the best I can do.
Days with three boys can be unbearably long even though the time seems to get away from me faster than I realize. Sometimes you’re just it. Sometimes making a bowl of cereal seems like an insurmountable task and a “real dinner” seems less likely to materialize than a trek up Mount Everest. And on hard days, days where the big boys can’t get along and the baby is needy and I find myself looking at my kids wondering if I even like them and no one is in a good mood… you’re a happy treat that is a tiny win, but a win nonetheless for that day.