We learn a lot from our parents, and this dad wanted to pass on his pearls of wisdom to his daughter through a simple every day act – packing his daughter’s lunch bag for school.
Erin Robinson’s mother worked in disaster relief for the American Red Cross and so travelled a lot. This meant that Erin and her dad were left at home for long periods of time with only each other for company.
In order to keep a sense of normality in the house with mom’s absence, Erin and her father established weekly routines and spent a lot of time together in the kitchen. They wrote menus for the week and enjoyed shopping and cooking together, becoming master of food-prepping for lunches.
Dad would take the responsibility for packing Erin’s lunch for school, but during her senior year of high school, she began to find something else in her lunch bag alongside her sandwiches.
Erin’s father started writing notes and leaving them in her lunch bag for her to find as a bit of motivation in the middle of her day. The notes ranged from inspirational quotes to safe driving tips.
Her dad coached for her fast pitch softball league, so he would even leave strategies and tips from time to time.
The notes always came on a scrap of paper ripped from the kitchen notepad. Sometimes the grocery list would still be on the opposite side.
My lunch table soon came to expect these notes. As soon as my friends and I sat down to eat, they’d look at me expectantly to see what pearls of wisdom my dad provided, asking, ‘What does the note say today?’ I’m thankful I kept most of these notes, even if I did so unintentionally or without the set purpose to do so. I’d find some in purses and pockets for months to come and finally collected them all in a bag in my dresser.
The notes finally came full circle years later when it was time for Erin’s father to retire. Collecting together all of the notes she could, Erin decided that she wanted to show everyone what a loving and kind father he was.
Using his own words of wisdom, Erin gave a speech to the company he had worked at for 25 years and provided them with a good chuckle, showing them his heartfelt notes and tidbits of knowledge. No doubt, they had heard some of these ‘pearls of wisdom’ too over the years…
The notes have survived half a dozen moves and still live in that bag in my dresser. Even now, 15 years later, I still read the notes over and appreciate the refresher on base running strategy, being a good person and the importance of napping.
Sometimes a small thing can have a big impact on a child’s life, and Erin grew up knowing that she had a loving and supportive father who would always be there for her.
I’ve grown to especially appreciate my time with my dad in high school. We don’t see each other as often we’d like, but anytime we visit, most of our time is spent back where it all started… in the kitchen. I’m so happy and proud to have him as my father.
If you loved Erin’s father’s heartwarming lunch bag tradition, leave your thoughts in the comments below and share the inspiration with your friends. 🐝