Today was a typical Monday morning rush, trying to balance a dog who needed walking and a kid who needed to get to school (and, somehow, get myself ready, too)…until something extraordinary happened that validated a little extra step I take every day for my son.

They’re not pretty–often written in haste on small pieces of torn envelopes–but I put a note in my son’s lunch every day, like many parents do. This1 morning, I was looking for a compartment to put a small water bottle in, as he forgets to bring his big water bottle to lunch at times.  I unzipped a little compartment in the front that looked perfect to store the emergency water bottle, and found two notes I had written my son tucked away in there. 

“Reason #599 I love you: You give the best hugs! You are the best! ❤️ M😊M”

“Reason #7 I love you: You do something kind every day. ❤️ M😊M”

I swallowed, hard. My heart involuntarily made its way into my throat.

I have never discussed the lunchbox love notes with my son. I write them with the hope that they make him smile if he needs a reason to smile, so he is consistently reminded that he has a mom who loves him unconditionally, who recognizes the joy he brings to the world, who is endlessly proud of his kind heart…even if she annoys him like no other trying to get out the door every morning.

While most of the notes end up in the trash, there are a couple that touched him enough to put them aside, and that gesture simply made my day.

Kids…they do listen sometimes, and the little things we do make an impact. Keep infusing your kids with love, any way you do it. They feel it and it nourishes their spirit, even if they never tell you it does. The most meaningful form of communication between a parent and child is often felt, not spoken.