If you’ve ever snuck a handwritten note — “have a good day!” or “eat your veggies!” or “you’ll ace that math quiz!” — in your kid’s lunch box, this story of a mom who wrote more than 100 letters to her sixth-grade daughter will hit close to home.
Stephanie Skylar wrote these notes more than a decade ago, back in 2003, when her 11-year-old girl was going through the growing pains of adolescence. Each of her notes included a boxed-in “Lunchbox Letter Advice” section that touched on everything from how to deal with mean girls at school to the importance of family and her tips for staying focused in her interests, namely karate.
“It started with typical ‘have a nice day at school’ notes and quickly became a place for her to more closely connect with me while she worked long hours,” Skye said.
Skye saved those letters, and this year, she anthologized them for her master’s thesis project on visual communication. She created the website Advice From My Mom, which showcases most of the notes, scrawled on scraps of paper, memo pads, and company letterhead.
Although her mom, who had a demanding job that had her traveling and commuting long distances, wasn’t able to write every day, Skye notes the intention paid off: “Her wisdom stuck with me long past when she first wrote these letters and this experience greatly shaped how I view the world.”