Valedictory Day weekend … and school has finished. I have to draw a line through the dot point on my internal to-do list, ‘Become amazing at lunchboxes.’ I started out with a bang. We had laptop lunchboxes and each morning I took great joy in filling the pots with popcorn, strawberries and sandwiches cut into neat soldiers.

Then year by year, my work diminished, the lunchboxes broke, I started to sleep in, the mister made lunches with no thought of aesthetics, the lads stopped eating their lunch anyway.

When we moved back to Australia, I tried to rekindle the magic. I made the lunches, established a muffin routine, making the muffins on Sunday night so they were fresh fro Monday morning. But somehow, control over the lunches always felt elusive. It still does. As I write I feel the physical manifestation of my ineffectiveness in the top of my right shoulder spreading down my arm.

And now I can never be that mother, the one who sent her kids to school with perfect lunches. I know it sounds ridiculous, but saying goodbye to that idea makes my body ache.

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