Thursday, March 12, 2009

In the bag

Every school night, after I put my son to bed, I pack a snack for him to take the next day in a brown paper bag. But before I do so, I draw a picture on the bag.

My ex started this ritual, but somehow it has become my thing. It started out as just a Superman logo: every day, his name on one side and a big "S" emblazoned on the other. Then it became the Batman symbol for a while. Then he asked me to draw Batman. Then other superheroes: Superman, Spiderman, Hulk, Green Lantern, Iron Man. Lots of Iron Man.

We went through dinsoaurs for a while, and bionicles (I'm still not really sure what those are supposed to be), and Pokemon characters. And Star Wars. We did a few Jedi, but mostly Clone Troopers. Man, do the kids ever love Clone Troopers.

Lately, it has been something called "Ben 10" - that's a cartoon show about a boy who turns himself into different aliens. That kept me busy for a while. It was around that time that I bought some new Sharpies and the drawings went from black-and-white to full-color.

Now we're back to Batman and his friends. Tonight was someone called the Blue Beetle. I don't think he was a superhero back in my day, but I found him on the Internets. His arms looked a little goofy when I drew him, but that's OK.

Once in a while I slip in something really goofy. Mostly that's when I mess up whatever I was trying to draw, but sometimes I just feel like drawing silly faces. I did that a lot when I was young. I think that's a big part of the joy of being a father: rediscovering the fun things you "grew out of."

After a while, I guess I realized this ritual of mine is really more about me than about him: if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it. I wonder sometimes what he'll remember about elementary school when he's old like me; what will make the cut as a good memory? Maybe the lunch bags will, maybe they won't. But it really doesn't matter: for now, it makes us both happy.


  1. When we test juicers, we juice carrots, which are hard and can sometimes taste bitter; kale, a popular leafy vegetable that's hard to juice and often jams in the machine; and apples, pulpy with a large diameter and oxidize quickly. We measure how much juice each juicer extracts as well as how much pulp. We also taste and evaluate how smooth each juice is and how sweet juicing cycle, and we monitor the juice for three days to see how well it holds up in terms of separation. Here are the best citrus juicers, slow juicers, and centrifugal juicers of 2020.