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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Joy in a Lunchbox

Who knew Blondie could make me giggle like a little girl? The story I am about to tell you is true, to the horror of my mother, I am sharing it with the blogosphere. She would be mortified!
Once upon a time, at the bottom of a hill in a quiet, middle class neighborhood in Staten Island there was a pile of broken, used, loved but unneeded items waiting for the trash collector. My tear-filled 7-year old eyes kept staring in disbelief at the shiny metal lunchbox sitting there. I loved that lunchbox, but mom said we couldn't take it to Spain with us. There just was no room. No room for a lunchbox??? We had room for a stupid old baby grand piano but not my favorite lunchbox? I cried so hard and to this day, with crystal clear vision, can see my treasure waiting at the curb. I remember the day my mom bought it for me. I had waited for what seemed eternity for my Blondie lunchbox. Then, one day at the supermarket, I spotted it neatly lined up on an upper shelf above the open freezer with scores of other lunchboxes. I screamed with delight, jumping up and down pointing at it! I HAD to have it, so the nice clerk climbed up the ladder and handed it to me. I quickly unlatched it, but there was no Thermos. No Thermos? The man looked around at all the other lunchboxes, but this was the last Blondie left. I glanced quickly at my mom terrified she would make me give it back and told her there was no way I was giving up Blondie, Thermos or not. She asked the man if it would be possible to take one from a different lunchbox and my Blondie lunchbox was complete with a Yellow Submarine (yes, from the Beatles) Thermos. I carried that lunchbox everywhere! I was soooo happy! Until the day we moved to Barcelona, Spain.
I've never forgiven my mother for that atrocity, it was psychologically damaging. She has apologized over and over for this faux pas, and I certainly seem to have survived without it. In fact, I didn't realize how much it affected me until last week. A friend gave me an unexpected gift for just being a friend. You guessed it, a Blondie lunchbox with the correct Thermos this time around. See picture accompanying this entry to see me clutching it with absolute joy and delight!
Even I was surprised at how much joy and completeness it brought me. My friend remarked how brokenhearted he was when I told him the story a while back and wanted to show his gratefulness by giving me this incredibly thoughtful gift.
My Blondie lunchbox and I are reunited at last, a complete circle of sorts. I've forgiven my mother and I am NEVER letting this one out of my hands! Our joys in life sometimes come in the most unexpected packages. The gift of gratitude is the most awesome gift of all. May gratitude find its way to you, and when it does, pass it on!