Caleb's school had a function called Lunch with a Loved One & Bookfair. I had initially assumed I would not/could not go because it was in the middle of the work day, and my office is in LA. I had asked some friends and my mom if they could go, but it simply just did not work out for anyone to go but me. Caleb's grandparents were up North, and my sister and brother were working. I hate working from home, but last minute that Friday morning, I made the choice to stay home and attend his lunch. Thank God that I did.
When I arrived on to his school campus relatively on time at 11:30AM, Caleb was standing in the middle of his classroom surrounded by kids sitting with their "loved ones" aka parents and other family members. He had this widened eye look on his face and he was searching the outdoor area of his class to see if anyone was coming for him. The moment he saw me, he snapped out of this trance and was back to being himself. He ran to me asking me why I was late (I wasn't), and was so excited. We sat outside at the big kid lunch tables with another parent and his friend. We went to the book fair and got some books for himself and his class, and then he played on the big kid playground for a bit. By 1AM, I was in my LA office and would have to leave a few hours later to go pick him up.
I cannot shake that look on his face I saw when I walked up to his class before he saw me there. He was looking and searching with expectancy. His expression wore the question of if I would come. Of course I was, but It's the saddest expression I think I have ever seen from him in his life. Can you imagine if I had decided not to go? I can't even think of it-It's so awful. The idea that he would be one of the only kids there alone with no loved one present. Just awful. I am so incredibly grateful that I made the decision to omit work and attend. It's worth everything to me in order to be present. The moment I showed up, he was good-instantly excited and happy. He later told our friend that he had the "bestest day ever" because he "invited his mommy to lunch" and I was there. That same day was one my best friends 30th birthday celebrations, and I was feeling the pain of being unable to be there with her and our friends to celebrate because they live in NY. Despite how much I miss my friends and people on the East Coast, if I had to choose between attending my son's lunch and NY, I would have to choose his lunch. It's something so small, but so, so big. It's something that took great effort and time out of my day, but being able to go is worth every accommodation needed to make it work.
The lunch was adorable. Families brought chairs and blankets and food. I had his usual lunch packed and didn't bring anything particularly different. I brought myself food and a blanket for us. but it wasn't needed. I love seeing him with his friends and I love how excited and connected he is to his environment there. It's so cool to be where he spends his time and to see his school every time I am there. They had another event a few weeks ago which was pizza and movie night on the lawn. It was absolutely wonderful. The kids had a rockin' dance party prior to the movie, and Caleb saw his big buddy there-who was a very good sport about his little 5 year old buddy hanging out with him.
We can't control much in life, but we can show up and be intentional to be present at these little opportunities that come around. It's truly a joy for me probably as much as him.