Having my daughter, Amy Royce live so far away, is something that will take a lot of getting used to. I am used to seeing her every day, and now that is not possible. I’m sure that I can count on one hand the number of times I have missed being with her on her birthday in her 39 years. In fact, I if I had to guess, it would be maybe two times. Even then, I saw her within a day or so of her birthday. We have always been a close family, and so this degree of distance between us seems very foreign to me.
Of course, my dear Amy, you have been on my mind a great degree lately, and when I think of you, I find my mind flooded with visions of you at every stage of your life. You were my teeny little girl who always felt the need to defend yourself from the other little kids who thought you were a baby doll to be played with. Wow, did they have a shock when they tried to pick you up. You could make it very clear with your ability to scream at the top of your lungs, that carrying you around, would not be tolerated. When you where still very small, with your small amount of blond hair, and your great big eyes, we called you Tweety Bird, because you reminded us so much of the bird in the cartoon. And you were Strawberry Shortcake, because at that time, the currently back in the popular zone toy, first came out, and the term fit you so very well. Of course to your dad, you will always be Squirt. You were such a sweet little girl, and yet you had a stubborn streak that came out when you didn’t get your way or you felt like someone didn’t give you the proper degree of respect in any given situation. Then your little face would set in anger and determination to win, and pretty much everyone knew to give you some space. You had a funny way of pronouncing some of your words, and somehow, my little Wyoming Girl, sounded just like a Texan…which we always found pretty funny, unless you were trying to explain that you had “dirt” in your eye by saying the you had “dot” in your eye. Boy you could sure get irritated whenever you were misunderstood.
As you grew up, at least in every way but in height, you learned to have a sense of humor about things, especially when it came to reaching things in high places. I remember the time you bought a t-shirt at school that was marked in such a way as to explain to a blond, the proper way to get dressed, because of the blond jokes that have persisted over the years. I found myself shocked, because as a blond, who was almost always not a blond in the intellectual sense of the word, you had decided to embrace that joke. You used to get so angry about being called a blond, so I couldn’t believe that you would buy such a shirt. I guess that you decided that if you couldn’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em. Because of your small stature, no one could ever really believe your age either. Upon receiving your first traffic ticket, the officer first questioned not if you had you license, but rather if you were old enough to have one at all. And I often wondered if you would need a booster chair to see over the steering wheel in your first car, a Camaro, because back when they were a pretty big car. In fact, I went so far as to give you one that I came across, only to find that you did not agree with my logic concerning this matter. Go figure!!
While you have always seemed younger than your years in looks and size, you have proven yourself to be a wise and very talented girl when it comes to most things in your life. You are a very capable insurance agent, and one that I have been not only proud and happy to work with, but upon your move, an agent that I have been proud to send to your new agency, because they have received a great asset to their company. Your ability to learn the nuances of insurance is amazing. Sadly, our loss is their gain, and we miss you every day…especially your mom. Today in Amy’s birthday. Happy birthday Amy!! Have a great day!! We love you very much!! And ET, don’t forget to call home often. We really need that.
When my girls were little, they rode the bus to school, and of course, ate their lunch at school too. As a kid, we only lived 5 blocks from school, and since Mom didn’t work then, we went home for lunch. In days gone by, the kids walked into town to school. There was not time for them to come home for lunch…only the town kids could do that. You wouldn’t think that these situations have much in common, but the thing they do have in common is the lunch container…so to speak. When my girls were little, their first lunch box was the Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox. They loved it. And every year after that, they got a new lunchbox, because as we all know, a first grader can’t have a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox. That is totally not cool. By the first grade you would need something cool, like Care Bears or My Little Pony. The right lunch box made that first day of school, and the wrong one, ruined it. Ok, maybe it wasn’t quite that serious, but we all know that for a kid, very specific things mattered in school.
Things were a little different in the old west, as well as in the early 1900’s. Fancy lunchboxes didn’t exist. Instead of a lunchbox, the children took their lunch to school in a lunch pail, and it was really a small pail. I remember watching the Little House on the Prairie shows and seeing the girls bringing their lunch to school. It seemed so primitive…like taking their lunch in the same container they might just as easily have played in the sand with. I don’t know if they purchased the pail for the purpose of taking their lunch to school in, or if the pail was purchased with something else in it, and then used for lunches when it was empty, or just how it came to be a lunch pail. Who thought of that idea? Was it someone, who like me, tries to find a use for things that just look like they are too good to throw away, and maybe something could be made from them? In researching this thought, I found that often the children would try to create a lunch pail out of the containers that biscuit mix came in, so I guess that kids have always wanted a fancy lunch box.
From what I read, the lunch box used to be a kind of low status symbol too…at least in the working world. The worker who carried his lunch was viewed as someone who could not afford a hot lunch at a restaurant. Thankfully that isn’t the way it is view now, because I know a lot of people who bring their lunch to work. For most of us these days, it is more a way to eat healthy, and avoid the fast food places. So in that way, I guess the status symbol has taken on a whole new meaning.