The Heart-Covered Napkin

The heart-covered napkin lays upon the island countertop, reminding me of school notes I will be writing my five-year old this week. In trying to keep up with Asher’s dad, I will undoubtedly attempt the usual witty Dr. Seuss-like rhyming notes – “something something something (insert rhyming word)” and then repeat. All too often, however, my brain converts to something-something mode as my increasing pulse pushes me to get out the door by 8:20 a.m. (one minute more and the whole day might implode, as you are well aware.)

In connection to my current read, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, there is a lot of territory to write about if one simply remembers the critical nature of the school lunch. And then, there’s the note. My mother never wrote me a note, that I can recall, but I vividly remember the one girlfriend in grade school whose mom dutifully and lovingly wrote notes on her colorful flower-printed napkins each day. ‘Man, that girl’s mom must really love her,’ I used to think; however, I doubt the word “man” was part of my fourth grade lingo.

And, of course, I never would have asked my mom if she’d write me a note, probably. I mean, it would have been embarrassing to let her know I wanted one. After all, I wasn’t “little,” and I didn’t “need” her when I was at school, for God’s sakes (again, probably not part of the lingo back then).

At five, my son was able to ask for such a thing, which is one of the trillion and one things I love both about him and about “five.” Noticing his friend’s lunch note, he simply came home and said, “Mommy, will you put a note in my lunch?” How easy was that?

What a concept. I see this sweet, simple thing that someone can receive and how great it would feel, and because I have asked for it, I am now going to get it every day (well, almost – pulsing heart rate and imploding day, remember).

It definitely would have been cooler if I had thought of it on my own, I admit. But my five-year old doesn’t “get” that part yet. Why would he care if I had thought of it first? There’s no spite at five, no keeping tabs. Man, I love “five.”

So, as it gets closer to the big V day, I am reminded of two things. One, it’s actually OK to ask for what you want. And doing so can even open up more communication about such things. And two, we should sweat the small things, like Chinese cookie fortunes and love messages scribbled on sticky notes.

Growing into more of an adult year after year doesn’t have to mean these things are no longer necessary. Paying attention only becomes more important, in fact. Take notice of your loved ones. Write yourself a love note. Take the time to do more and say more than “something-something.”

 

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