Surrender 127: Corn Dogs for Aubrey

I had the pleasure of having lunch with my granddaughter Aubrey today. Much to the chagrin of my grandsons, who will be in school about a week longer, today was her school’s last Friday of this school year. We celebrated the end of school and the beginning of summer with lunch from Sonic. 

Aubrey requested corn dogs and a grape slushie, a meal she wouldn’t normally have at school. The first words out of her mouth as we slid into our seats was the revelation that today, the school lunch was….a corn dog! She found that irony funny. At least the school wasn’t serving slushies too! 

Lunch times are very short for elementary school aged children. The kids have 20 minutes to get their lunches, eat and line up for recess. I understand the reasoning for the shortened time for eating. It just goes by so fast. I encouraged Aubrey to eat while we chatted about a variety of topics. 

No time to pose for a pic…I caught Aubrey as she was taking a bite! 

All of my grandchildren are great conversationalists. They share easily about their lives and ask questions about mine. Aubrey and I spoke about the end of school, summer vacation, friends, family, and how I know everyone! Aubrey thinks that because I know several of the teachers at her school. I love watching this bright girl’s eyes sparkle as she talks, and her expressive face. She makes me laugh and stirs my heart with her tender concern for others. 

That 20 minutes flew by. One of the teachers in the lunchroom gave Aubrey 5 extra minutes since I was there. As the other first graders were lining up to go outside, Aubrey slurped down the rest of her purple slushie and gathered up her trash to throw in the big bin. I had already hugged her and kissed her good bye and managed to capture a quick selfie of the two of us. 

Still seated at the table, I waved to her as she dusted off her hands over the trash bin and turned to trot across the cafeteria to join her classmates. Suddenly Aubrey swung around and ran back to me, a big grin on her face, her arms spread wide. I received the wonderful gift of another hug, a kiss and an “I love you” before she scampered off. 

I’ll be having lunch with my three younger grandsons next week, as their school years are concluding too. Dayan, at almost 17, is happy with Chinese food after school. These are precious times. I’m storing up treasures in my heart. I might have left Aubrey at recess with a smile on my face and a joyful tear in my eye. 

Journey 29: Lunch With Aubrey

Lunch with Aubrey 2

In the middle of a very busy and long day, what a delight to take a break and have lunch with my youngest grandchild and only granddaughter. Following on the fun lunch time with Oliver and Joey earlier in the week, I decided to join Aubrey at school today, and grandson Jonathan next week. She asked for shrimp and cocktail sauce for lunch, and for her Papa to join us. Greg was able to do that today. Picking up a shrimp dinner at Long John Silver’s, we arrived at the school just before Aubrey’s kindergarten class lined up for lunch.

I loved seeing this beautiful little girl’s face light up as she spotted us waiting for her in the cafeteria. I think it is great that kids who have guests present for lunch are allowed to choose where they want to sit. Aubrey led us to a table in the middle of the room. Her best friend, Marley, joined us as well, with her mom as her lunch guest. These two spirited girls look like they could get into quite a lot of mischief, under the right circumstances! During lunch, they were content to grin at each other and giggle together occasionally.

Aubrey enjoyed her shrimp, fries, soft drink and especially that cocktail sauce! Shrimp is a fairly recent addition to Aubrey’s list of favorite foods. What I didn’t realize is that she likes her shrimp “naked”, as she put it, without the crunchy coating on it. So that she could eat in the time allotted for lunch, I peeled her shrimp and she dipped it in the sauce! What a funny girl. I made a mental note to get plain shrimp next time….or two helpings of fried shrimp that could be stripped!

Lunch with Aubrey Yaya

We chatted during lunch, this animated girl, Papa Greg, and I, discussing computer lab, which this kindergartener had just come from, and that it was, sadly, too cold for recess today. She asked about our day and the whole time, her bright eyes were taking in the noisy but pleasant surroundings, missing nothing. We were informed that there were more kids present during lunch than is normal. I wasn’t sure of the reason, maybe the colder weather today. A lunch helper told us that, I believe, in case we thought the noise level was too high. I was glad to see kids laughing and chatting and enjoying some free time before being back in class again. No explanation, and certainly no apology, necessary!

All too quickly, lunch time was over and after hugs goodbye, Aubrey left us to join her classmates as they prepared to head back to class. I texted a picture of our time together to her dad and stepmom. Her daddy, my son Nate, sent a text back saying that Aubrey had been very excited about lunch today, and recorded the anticipated event in her Book of Happy Thoughts. That touched my heart. One of the things I appreciate about Aubrey is her joyful, positive attitude. We started the Book of Happy Thoughts when she was 2 years old, in a journal that I had owned for years, yet had never written in. I gave her the small blue book and we began drawing pictures in it and writing about our fun times together. As she grew older, she took the book home with her and her dad now helps Aubrey to record special thoughts and events.

And here is the amazing thing about Aubrey and that small blue journal that is her Book of Happy Thoughts. It has a picture of Arwen on the front cover, being a journal that I purchased when the Lord of the Rings movies were first being produced, seven years before Aubrey was born. Arwen is posed with her sword, a picture from the scene where she fiercely protected Frodo from the Ring Wraiths. Aubrey loves that picture of Arwen, and her strength and beauty, characteristics I see in my granddaughter already. Even more amazing, Arwen is a High Elf, daughter of Lord Elrond. She is an elf princess. Aubrey’s name  means, “elf ruler or elf princess”.  I had no idea, when I purchased that small journal and saved it, that I’d someday have a granddaughter whose name would have a connection to Arwen on the cover. Or did I know it, somehow, at some level? What I do know is that journal, that Book of Happy Thoughts, definitely was meant for Aubrey, elf princess, the possessor of happy thoughts.

Lunch with Aubrey journal