The cafeteria strike is over and the kids went to school and päiväkoti yesterday and got a nice, free, hot lunch THAT WAS NOT PACKED AND/OR ORGANIZED BY ME. I almost wept with joy, because organizing lunches (and snacks for Sterling) for two days kicked my butt. I feel like most weekdays are spent balancing on a knife’s edge, trying to manage my own work plus family stuff. The burden of this extra chore definitely put me over the (wrong) edge, as evidenced by the fact that after making sure my three children would be fed during the day, I myself had only a single packet of instant soup for lunch at work. I just couldn’t muster up the energy to prepare more for myself. It was the saddest desk lunch ever.
That said, there were some positives about the sack-lunch-in-Finland experience. The kids really had fun seeing what their friends brought for lunch, and I imagine their friends enjoyed seeing my kids’ traditional American peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, too! One of the girls’ friends is half Japanese, and he brought in a gorgeous bento box, neatly packed with chopsticks and tied up in a traditional cloth bundle. He said his mom had been waiting for a chance to send him with a Japanese lunch, and this week, she got it! The Finns seemed to lean toward cold pasta salad, or else a hot pasta dish sent in a thermos (this is the route I went with Sterling).
I enjoyed hearing my kids talk about the lunches they ate and saw as I loaded a seemingly unending parade of small, dirty lunch tupperware containers into an already crowded dishwasher two nights in a row. Sigh. To all you parents who pack and/or organize school lunches for your children: I salute you.