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Lunch Pox

Making lunch for my daughter everyday traumatizes me. I stand in front of the open fridge for hours trying to decide what to make her. In my head, I'm putting together foods in all sorts of combinations. I feel I am supposed to be sending her off with something more than a salmon cream cheese sandwich/drink/fruit bar combo.

She won't tell me what she wants. She'll only tell me what she didn't like at the end of the day. She is very happy with the salmon cream cheese sandwiches.

But I'm not. Lunchtime is a Sisyphean test for my creativity. Every day it will be another uphill challenge.

Really, I search other mom blogs at night and type in variations of "neat kids lunches". I research lunch ideas from different countries. I picture myself waking up at 3 a.m. with enough love in my heart to give her fresh paella for lunch, or a delicious home made wrap. I want to cut carrots into flowers and experiment with garnishes.

Then, in reality, there i am 10 p.m. rummaging through the fridge and cupboards, making something out of the ingredients I do have: bread, salmon cream cheese, a box of organic fruit roll ups, leftovers, brownish lettuce and condiments.

I picture myself going out and buying the foods I need to create the perfect bento box. I picture myself lovingly cutting bread and creating adorable animal faces with sesame seed eyes, and flower gardens out of food cut preciously so. I picture my daughter swinging her lunchbox all over the place on her way to school and wondering why mommy made her mush for lunch.

I take solace that whatever I do, I will not make lunches like my mom made me. I always remember to cook the hard boiled eggs before I put them in her box.