The Lunch Lady

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Lunch Lady

  I never realized that the lunch lady had so much power until this morning. We were all ready to go this morning, everything ran like a swiss clock, everyone on target, on task and on time.  I was upstairs getting ready to put the finishing touches on my hair and in comes my middle son.  He looked concerned. Oh oh – we may be late.  When my middle son is very excited he has a manner of speaking that I call a stutter however it is really not a stutter in the real sense, it is more like he is pushing air out of his lungs and out of his mouth and it takes him a while to get it out and you just have to wait until he pronounces the word. So he began by telling me that he went to eat hot lunch the other day for the first time and the lunch lady told him that it cost $2.00. I looked at him. He looked at me.  And I said, and the problem with that is? He said that this is the first time that he has eaten hot lunch in the cafeteria and she charged him $2.00. I said well isn’t that how much hot  lunch costs? He didn’t hear me and he began again that he had only eaten in the cafeteria one time and she charged him $2.00 and that all the other times he brought his lunch. I said yes and that is why she charged you $2.oo. I continued you are not on the free lunch program so you have to pay for lunch. He was pushing the words out and even though his mouth was moving no sound was coming, he struggled.  Mom, you don’t understand! I said ok dear I am trying to understand so let me tell you what I think you are saying, so listen to me for a minute ok? He did. Now what I am about to say I said would have worked had I been talking to a fully functioning adult (well maybe, and I hope) however he is 11 and not a fully functioning adult. I gave it a shot anyway. So I said if you go to McDonald’s and order something to eat they charge you right? He said nothing. So my mind said ‘aha I am getting through’ (silly mommy) and I said in all of my best mommy concerned high pitched-ness in my voice – that is why the lunch lady charged you for the lunch. He began to cry, his eyes were red, his face had a reddish tint to it and he was walking away saying I didn’t understand him. I said come back honey, I am trying to understand. I hugged him and then I asked him to tell me again. He said the same thing and ended by saying that the lunch lady isn’t fair. I said, well did you pay her the $2.00? He said yes.  I said well, I am sorry mommy doesn’t understand, I will call the school when I get into the office and find out what the problem is and perhaps I can talk to the lunch lady. He stopped crying and went downstairs. I was confused. 

 We all 4 piled into the van. I dropped off the oldest and then drove to the elementary school. They were listening to their music. I had a headache.  When it was time for them to get out of the van, I mentioned the lunch lady one more time. I said, so sweetie, I am going to call the school and find out what happened. He said ok and then added ‘oh mom, I gave her $5 and she didn’t give me any change!’  Caution caution warning here it comes…….. I said oh really? I thought you said the hot lunch was $2.00? He said I know, but she didn’t give me any change except a $1.00. I said a dollar?  I thought you said she didn’t give you any change? Then he said, ‘ well not a real $1 but a play $1.’ I said, where can you use that? He said ‘at the school kid store.’  I then asked my daughter, have you had a problem with the lunch lady and she said, ‘yes because when I give her change she never gives me any money back.’ I said, well perhaps it is because you gave her the exact change. I said how much is your hot lunch sweetie? She said, ‘I don’t know.’ I asked both of them what is the lunch ladies name and they both said in unison, ‘I don’t know. ‘ I said have a good day. When the van doors closed I laughed out loud. I never knew that the lunch lady wielded so much power in the lives of those who eat in the cafeteria. She lurks behind the counter waiting to pounce upon innocent children and take their money and not give them any change back and finally she refuses to tell them her name!!  I woulda’  sounded like a lunatic had I not interrogated my bright children a little while longer.  They worked me up so much that I had a headache.  As always with children listen, listen and listen and then listen again before you act a fool with another adult over something they said or they did.  So, now what I need to do is chat with the lunch lady and find out about this missing money!  For my sister, I will do that next week.

Imagine how many parents go to school believing everything their children tell them. They may have some of the facts right however it is still just a further indicator that these critters aren’t cooked yet. To all the lunch ladies in the world I stand on record as apologizng for these children that we allow to bother you daily with what I suspect are some of the best dog eat my homework stories or in your case dog ate my lunch that I was supposed to bring from home but forgot because I was too busy playing.

I woke up this morning and heard Joyce Meyer talking about dying to self. She explained the whole process of a seed being planted into the dirt and how it has to die before it becomes a plant. I thought wow so the seed that dies eventually cracks open and out comes a little shoot which has to push through the darkness towards the light that it feels. The light is not yet seen by the shoot coming through the dirt but it knows it is there. This pushing and pushing removes the dirt ever so slowly and it may take weeks before the shoot even breaks through to the light and to the fresh air. But when it comes out it has to grow, it has to get longer and stronger and it has to know when to bend and when to extend and as it does, it becomes a plant. Whatever the plant is it will become IF you water it, fertilize it, nurture it and feed it, it will be a plant that can produce flowers that produce more seeds or it can become a fruit tree or an oak.  The seed has to die. We have to die in order to be what the good Lord created us to be and this kind of death is really hard because it tears at the flesh and the flesh doesn’t want any change. The flesh wants to be comfortable even when the comfort level may not be a good place to be. So why not try to get through the dirt into the light.  Amen. 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”


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