Thoughts while packing lunches on a weekday morning

Another morning is beginning, and I’m making breakfast and packing lunches in the kitchen. I sigh as I try to piece together the lunches. What is it about packing lunches that can be so defeating?
As I start cutting strawberries, I hear some bickering begin in the other room.
Back and forth voices rise and fall.
Is a maternal referee needed? I’m not sure. But maybe this debate will end on its own.
It doesn’t seem to be ending. But it might not be getting worse. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away.
After all, mornings are not our best time. Everyone is hungry. Some of us didn’t get enough sleep.
I try to stay focused on my lunch packing, keeping an ear out for the interactions in the next room. I’m determined not to get involved since I am also tired and not a morning person. I would rather let this conflict sort itself out without me.
And then, as I’m slicing the strawberries, I pause to think.

Many people would love to be in my shoes, filling lunchboxes with food while their children argue nearby. Even when I’m tired and rattled by the arguing, I know I’m so blessed to be a mother of these two children. I also know how fortunate I am to open my refrigerator and find food that will fill their lunchboxes and help them grow.
And then it hits me. One day I’m going to be preparing food in the kitchen, and the house will be quiet. There will be no children arguing over whose turn it is to play with what. I won’t be mentally in one room while I’m physically in another.
One day these children will be grown. And then I might just miss the bickering.
Or maybe I won’t. I’ll probably forget that they ever disagreed. They have to remind me and tell me I only remember the good moments, the moments I want to remember, saying the same things my siblings and I say to our parents.
But I know one day I’ll miss the simplicity of a morning where I can fill a lunchbox and a backpack with everything our child needs for the day.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.