I try my best to pack a homemade lunch regularly. When I was a kid, my mom put a lot of effort into making sure we had a real lunch. I know I didn’t appreciate the amount of labor that went into it. Sometimes she would make homemade meatballs, or make teriyaki steak sandwiches on a french roll, carefully separating the lettuce from the sandwich and providing instructions on how to reassemble it so I wasn’t stuck with soggy lettuce. So thoughtful.
And now that I’m older, I realize that food is the one thing that really connects me to being Filipino. I don’t speak the language, I’m not religious and I didn’t grow up in the Philippines. I feel like I need it to hold on, and it’s the one thing I can pass on to my offspring (if I ever have any) that will connect them with my parents. I genuinely worry about losing my culture.
As an adult I’m lucky enough to have someone to make my lunches sometimes and pack nice notes in them, carefully written on cat-themed stationery. Someone who thinks about how it will steam the broccoli in the microwave at work, who thinks about what I might want to snack on for the in-between times.