The Simple Things
We got our first placement before school was out. As we settled in on our first night together, this chatty 7-year-old girl started telling us about her school we needed to take her to in the morning. As she was talking something seemed to dawn on her, she paused in her story, and slowly looked up at my husband and me with longing big brown eyes. I could tell she wanted to say/ask something but was unsure. She then timidly asked us, “Could I maybe bring my own lunch to school tomorrow?” I smiled and said, “Of course, sweetheart!” Her eyes lit up with joy and then she asked with all her gumption, “Can I bring it in a lunch box too?” I asked if she had one in the bag we were still unpacking and she said no she has never had a lunchbox.
So, we took a break and went to the store to pick out a lunchbox, water bottle and grab some groceries to pack inside. As we packed her new lunch box that evening, my husband and I included a little note on a post-it. The next morning she beamed when I pulled her new lunch box from the fridge and put it in her backpack. She seemed so proud.
That second night, when we put her to bed, I noticed from the corner of my eye the post-it note we put in her lunch that day. She had placed the post-it note we’d written to her on her wall, by her bed. My husband and I continued to trade-off and slide notes into each lunch we packed her. And each night as we put her to bed the notes from her lunch were placed on the wall. It became a collection.
It hit us that the simple things- we take for granted- can mean the most. Her very own lunch box, a post-it note, & the ability to take her own lunch, were simple small gestures to us, but to her, they were treasured luxuries.
—B, Foster Mom in Portland