Never Underestimate the Power of Napkin Notes


My oldest son is a 4th grader these days, but way back when he was in kindergarten, he came home one day wondering why I didn’t write him notes in his lunch box. Well, because why? He couldn’t even read yet. So fine, I did with a combination of pictures (I am no artist) and words. I started doing it here and there, never consistently. I noticed when there wasn’t a note in his lunchbox he would ask about it, so I started doing it more. Another thing I began to notice was that if there was no note, the napkin would not be in his lunchbox after school, but if there was then the napkin would always in his lunchbox he didn’t throw them away.

Taking the lead from him I decided that part of my back to school activities would include writing a month or so worth of notes and storing them in the pantry ahead of time because I don’t always remember in the morning rush. A few examples: Have a Great Day, I Love You, I am Proud of You, and You are Awesome. Add a few corny jokes like: What is a pirate’s favorite letter? (Arr) Why was six afraid of seven? (Because 7 ate 9) and What animal cheats on exams? ( A cheetah).  As the year goes on they become more geared toward a specific mood, class outing, field trip, or something that has happened at home.


Once he entered 4th grade I thought maybe he would get embarrassed to be seen with notes from his mom, so I didn’t really do it. One day he asked me why I stopped writing him notes. He told me he loved them, they made him think of me, they made him feel special, and they were important to him. Wow. From that moment on I knew that no matter what I would always write him notes, even if when he is a teenager, they are hidden in his coat pocket.


I have two kids in elementary school and one in preschool, and they all love mom’s notes. I may not draw excellent pictures, my handwriting is pretty terrible, sometimes the marker bleeds, sometimes it is a simple I love you!, but they know I took the time, and it matters to them. Every mom shows their love in different ways, and for me, this way works.





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