Lunches of my childhood were the same whether I was at home or if I “ate over”, as we called it, at a friend’s house: soup and sandwich – grilled cheese or bologna, Campbell’s Tomato or Lipton’s Chicken Noodle – Zoodles, or Kraft Dinner. Everyone I knew went home for lunch. In my suburban, stay-at-home mom neighbourhood, eating lunch at school – save for the occasional extra-curricular club or activity - was not even an option. Almost everyone had a mom at home to serve them and any extra friends lunch; the few who had working moms would go to a neighbour’s house, hired expressly for the purpose of lunch provision and noon hour care.My kids do not eat lunch at school. They come home every day except for early-dismissal Fridays, but instead of walking I drive them, given that this hour has 55 minutes and a fifteen minute walk there and back, not to mention the attiring and discarding of winter clothing would eat the time meant for eating. And so I pick them up every day at noon, but these days they are in the extreme minority; one little girl from Mark’s class goes home for lunch three days a week, no one else in Jake’s class of 29 does.
I worried, then, when I was asked to contribute to the resurrecting of the Ladies Who Make Lunch, that I would be disqualified since I don’t belong to the club who wearily and with great boredom pack lunches every day; I merely pack snacks for their morning nutrition break. However, and this is true of motherhood as a whole, we are all in this together. Whether our children eat at school or at home, lunches are like laundry: vitally necessary and tediously never ending. We tend to the nourishment of their little souls, their little minds, and their little bodies, and a big part of that bodily nourishment lies in the noon hour munching. We all rise to the occasion even if that occasion is a tedious, unvarying chore.Join us, the Ladies Who (Make) Lunch, as we navigate the muddy waters of lunch preparation. Follow us as we swim through the ocean of sandwiches, Thermoses, carrot sticks and cookies. You’ll find recipes, ideas, memories, and diatribes as we rage against the machine of relentless lunch making in the face of school restrictions, allergies, and picky eating. I’m Nicole; my fellow Ladies are Beck, Janet, Hannah, and Sue. Come (make) lunch with us!