My mother used to take notes for me. For years: notes in my lunch box, on the doorstep of our home, on my bed when I came home to visit. The floor or bedside table was useful: So-and-so; I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist Thursday; I think you might enjoy the article (newspaper article included). I don’t really remember what the lunch notes said, but they might mention something soon: a history test, a basketball game, a game-opening night that I’ve been rehearsing for several months.
Each morning, they packed a tract with a salami sandwich, a carrot, a bottle of apple juice, a handkerchief that my classmates ridiculed. Even when it came to high school, writing was still there. I was a little embarrassed with them at the time, but it wasn’t enough to tell him not to leave them and not enough to not read them. They were as reliable as a sandwich.
I always knew how much he loved me.
When my last boyfriend was falling into a mess in the early 30s, I remember telling my ex: Love is a verb. I continue to be confident about it. Love is not there, lifeless, doing all the work without effort; is shown, daily. Here’s another coffee. Let me rub your shoulders. You know, I’m so proud of you.
Recently, while I was studying meditation, a Buddhist teacher told of a granddaughter who asked her grandparents, who stayed with her for a long time, if they liked her. “I really do love you!” he said in astonishment. “Why do you ask?” “Well,” said the child, “but if you don’t pay attention, I don’t understand.” Clean care: this was the real way the baby felt the love of his grandparents. I heard it in my mother’s writings. Some appreciate it when a friend sends a friendly text message or a dog friend walks over to the dog at the end of the day. There are endless, wonderful ways to turn love into a verb.
I started putting notes in my son Noah’s food box, just as my mother had left me. In the past, we used to visit her every day, but daily moments are no longer a part of our lives. They live all over the place, in different places, and these days they are suddenly full and busy, and I hope they don’t want to bother me with phone calls and emails, and they won’t leave me notes. on the bed again. I did not come home for more than two years, and the house I knew now had been sold. Also because they don’t know anything; he couldn’t possibly, all the moments that happen in life stay together. Nothing more to say about the size of lunch.
Therefore, I am writing to Noah, thinking of my own mother: Have fun at MOONKEY BARS! Enjoy your PICKLES! Congratulations on the SPELLING TEST! Each sentence is meant to be shown to him, as I am shown on a daily basis: I see you, I hear you, I love you.
Abigail Rasminsky is a Los Angeles-based author, editor and educator. She teaches writing at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and writes a weekly newspaper, People + Bodies. He also wrote about marriage, motherhood and the neighborhood.
PS What foods do they carry their children to for lunch at school, and how to get your kids to talk at dinner.
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