We Love You


“Mom! Dad! What are you doing here?”

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw them standing by my locker in the ninth-grade hall. Was something wrong? Death, fire, disaster all flashed through my mind. I ran the last few steps toward them and breathlessly asked, “What’s up?”

“Hello, dear. We thought it would be nice if we came and had lunch with you today,” my mother said, smiling cheerfully as my dad nodded his agreement.

“What!” My anticipation quickly turned to a growing dread. “With all my friends? In the cafeteria and everything?” I stammered as my face flamed at the thought of the entire ninth grade watching my parents and me dine on the daily special of meatballs and macaroni. How horrible!

Despite my embarrassment, lunch in the cafeteria with my parents was fun. By the end of the hour, I felt a sense of pride as I listened to my friends and my parents discussing the big game coming up that weekend and our hard classes.

“We love you and thanks for letting us come,” Mom said, hugging me.

“We are very proud of you,” said Dad as he held the cafeteria door open for Mom. I watched them through the steamy cafeteria window and realized how much I loved them.

As I think about that lunchtime now, my feelings of embarrassment have faded, but the warm, loving feeling is still strong. My parents made a small sacrifice that day, an hour of time. Yet in that hour, they brought new meaning to the words, “We love you.” I knew they really cared.

[illustration] Illustrated by Steve Kropp