I’ve done something I’ll probably regret forever. I googled “Bento Box.”
Stop the presses, folks. There are some lunchbox shenanigans afoot.
Along with feeling a sense of chagrin about having to literally google a term that apparently the mothers of North America have become creatively familiar (my excuse? We homeschool!), I’m also comically distraught that we are now supposed to exhibit creativity, thematic originality, and consistently entertaining lunch attire to children who do not yet understand why it’s a questionable idea to wear a banana clip and mis-matched knee socks with plaid shorts?!
I’ve previously written about my deep-seated distrust for Family Fun magazine and Pinterest, this discovery has brought all those emotions up to the forefront once again, as it seems like we keep setting completely unimportant standards up for ourselves, just so we can feel like we stink as parents when the ideals are not maintained. #firstworldproblems
I know there are some people who are wired to make art with their sandwiches and carrot sticks; strangely enough one of my very best friends has a brain like this and I respect her for it as much as I shake my head in confusion as her creativity. If this is what makes you thrive, so be it and here’s a virtual smack on the back for your awesomeness!
But then there’s the rest of us folks, the ones who can appreciate a beautiful sunset but have no idea what shades of colors make it up… these are the ones I think need to be freed from Bento Box Bondage.
Someone needs to exercise a dose of common sense, my friends. Every last bite of food, from the simple pb&j to the gourmet hummus and grape leaf will end up in a heap on the down side of the porcelain dumping grounds. Why kill yourself to create autumn leaves out of cheese slices and Rapunzel braids out of egg noodles?
Anyone can be perfect for a little while. No one can realistically be perfect all the time. Happiness does not come in the form of a well-cut piece of cheese.
Honestly, if our children grow up believing that life is supposed to come decorated stunningly and packaged perfectly, what expectations are we setting them up for as adults? This living of life we have does not come wrapped in beauty and bubble wrap; eventually something comes along like miscarriage or cancer, job loss, or relational disaster. There is always a challenge.
With that in mind, maybe we should teach our children to enjoy the nourishment and flavor of the ordinary rather than reach constantly for the spectacular to set them up for overall emotional and physical health success.