Last night, the phone rang.
As I rushed to answer it, the answering machine kicked on with a welcome message from our son’s principal with all the key announcements for this upcoming school year. You see, after homeschooling our number two son for seventeen years of his life, (yes, they start learning day one, don’t they), we enrolled him last year in public school.
The reason? Every little flag football boy dreams of playing football on the big screen, but the reality is that it takes years of hard work, dedication and tenacity. For our son, his goal was to receive a Division 1 football scholarship and for that dream to be realized, high school ball needed to be a reality.
This past year resulted in a HUGE chunk of change for our family. No, not money, but life change. Our eldest entered college and our number two son gave us our first public school experience. You wouldn’t believe the stories I could tell. I’d joke every day after school, that I had to have my “Disney movie” fix update.
Come on, remember back in high school when the “new guy” transferred into your class? There was always a stir, wasn’t there? He was the talk of the school, and this year, I got front row seats to the behind the scenes stories of that new guy. Some days I’d make popcorn and just enjoy the tales. It was as good as any Disney show.
Of course, my eyes popped wide open at the reality of all that high schoolers deal with each day, but that’s a series of posts for another time.
Today, I want to address my extreme failure as a “I’ll pack your lunch” mom.
Up early at the crack of dawn, my desire to make creative and healthy lunches lasted for one month. That first month defined “epic lunches.” I wrote sweet little notes and reminders (even on the food), chilled the ice packs each evening so that refrigerated items could be enjoyed. Served a variety of produce, sandwiches, wraps, snacks, treats – you name it, I packed it.
And then that first month came to an end and he announced, “Mom, things have to change. I’ve lost ten pounds!”
WHAT?? I cried? For a football player attempting to GAIN weight, this is the kiss of death.
Now granted, my initial reaction might have had a bit to do with my own issues and questioning why I can’t have that same problem, but I digress.
I couldn’t wrap my brain around how I could have “starved” my child with the most amazing and HUGE lunches ever, I realized that he was used to eating around the clock. When he’s home, food is handy at all time, but at school, he only has a 20 minute window to inhale. Not only that, but a lot of the foods that I packed were healthy, but low fat and he needed healthy fats and proteins packed with calories.
Do you know how difficult it is to find enough bag lunch options for a teenager needing to gain 40 pounds?
The cutesy lunches went out the window (thank goodness because I did not have it in me to do that for eight more months) and I went to the next best thing – peanut butter and protein shakes in bulk. We bought three large Sam’s Club sizes of each. He started carrying one container of peanut butter in his back pack, so that he could eat tablespoons in between classes or mix up a quick shake at lunch. (I still chuckle just thinking about all of this.) One container stayed in the trunk of his car, and the other we kept at home. We bought almonds in bulk, which are a great source of healthy protein and made sure he could munch on those at any given time. This year, I’ve been testing home made protein bar recipes because those things are pricey, plus many have extra unnecessary junk.
It’s rare that this is the kind of Back to School mishap you hear about, but when Bright Star Kids asked me to share one of my own, this mom debated between one of those “Disney moment stories” or my reality of packing lunches. I know that some of you with growing boys wonder how to get more calories in them, so I’ll start making a detailed list with more ideas and recipes.
Our 17 year old possesses some amazing character qualities, but organization of his things is not one of them. We find stuff everywhere, including his football items, and I quickly realized that if we ever wanted to get things back that were left at school, in the locker room , in a friend’s car, we needed to keep them organized and labeled.
Bright Star Kids labels are perfect for sticking to all kinds of kids belongings, from shoes to books to bottles and clothing. This means things will find their way home and not get lost or mixed up, saving you time and money! I needed 100% waterproof, stink proof, teenage boy proof and these do not disappoint. They come in stick on and also iron on, which are great options.
It’s one little step towards being a bit more organized this school year and I need all the help I can get as we wind down these last few weeks?
Can any one else relate?
Kick off the school year right and prevent unnecessary mishaps.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bright Star Kids. The opinions and text are all mine.