Saturday, January 5, 2013

"And that is why you should ALWAYS leave a note"

If you're not chuckling about this post's title, please go watch "Arrested Development."  You won't be sorry.

I can't take credit for the idea I'm about to share, but I can take credit for successfully executing it in my home.  I can also advise you to copy the idea and use it in your home, because that's what I do here: give advice.  You're welcome.  This year, we have a Smile Jar.  Each day, we are using small, brightly colored pieces of paper to note something that made us smile.  On the days when any of us is feeling down and frowny, we can simply pull a note from the jar and find ourselves a reason to smile.
5 y.o. helped draw the smiley faces. Care to guess which one he wasn't happy with?
Plus, at the end of the year, we'll be able to empty the jar, read all the notes, and remember the best times of the past 12 months.  By then, I'm hoping with all my might sure that Baby will be eating real food without scraping it off of her tongue, screaming, and gagging, and it will be fun (?) to reminisce about the times that she made my day by putting a bit of banana in her mouth voluntarily.

I also can't take credit for this next note idea, as I'm certainly not the only mom to ever put a note in her son's lunchbox.  I will admit, though, that the thought has crossed my mind that I'm the best lunchbox note-writer of all time. 
 "Son, does your teacher see the notes I put in your lunchbox?" 
"How about your friends?  The cafeteria helpers?  Anyone?"
I really don't write the notes in order to impress others (although being known around the school as "The mom who writes the best notes" would be okay with me); I write them to challenge my little boy's new reading skills, and to remind him that I'm thinking of him.  He loves getting them, and saves them all.
Poems. Nicknames. Scriptures. Bad drawings. Anagrams. Simple Spanish. It's no wonder he saves these treasures.
A couple of months ago, I was able to be a chaperon for his first-ever field trip.  That day, Husband packed my lunch, and included a note.  I actually did take a picture of it, with the intention of sharing it here, but decided it's just too special. And, too weird.  We have a LOT of inside jokes, Husband and I.  I hope that every time my sweet son opens his Star Wars lunch box and takes out a silly note, he feels as special, loved, and cheerful as I did that day.  

Together, writing a lunchbox note and a Smile Jar note takes up approximately 1.4 minutes of my time.  Do you have 80-some seconds to spare each day?  That shouldn't be a question.  Of course you do.  

What's that saying?  Life is in the details?  Or, is it the Devil that's in the details...?  Hmm.  Anyway, the fact is that the small things matter.  My son knows that I love him, and I make him smile.  He feels as special and as wonderful as he is, because I use 80-some seconds each day to leave a note.  You should, too.

What made you smile today?

Do you have any saved notes?


  1. It appears some signals got crossed. I thought this was a "wife improvement suggestion box," so some of my notes might seem a little critical. Pay no attention to them.

  2. I put a nice digital sticky note on my wife's computer screen, just to show her it could be done. It's still there. And not just because it's, you know. Sticky.

    Maybe I could make a digital sticky note jar...

  3. I think I'll include a note in my 11 year old's lunch tomorrow. Thanks!

  4. That's great; can't wait to do that one day! I can & should do it more often for the hubby though!