Something so sweet happened at the store yesterday. While my oldest daughter and I were shopping for her new apartment in Pittsburgh, we ran into old friends. As I talked to the mother, her daughter smiled and said, “Mrs. Holleman, we were just talking about you. Do you remember your after-school snack platters that you made every day? When I came over in elementary school to play, you had the best snacks of anyone. I was thinking about those snack platters today.”
It’s been years. It’s been almost a decade. But she remembered. I think about the number of children holding the memory of after school snacks in their heart.
Later that night, my husband and I brought dessert to a family we hadn’t seen in a while. Their oldest son was starting kindergarten. The mother said, “Heather! I cannot wait to do the after school snack platter just like you!”
I laughed and smiled because the commitment to after school snacks seemed like such a small thing as part of the daily Warm Welcome home. It didn’t seem like a ministry or something I’d get any attention for. Motherhood feels like this. But then, one day, you see that something you did mattered and spread.
The after school snacks were all about greeting a child, letting her know she’s special and missed, keeping her nourished, and generating an atmosphere of slowing down and talking about the day. Popcorn. Hummus and pita. Cookies. Fruit. Veggies and dip. Cheese and crackers. Anything!
If your own family members are returning to school, it’s never too late to start an after school tradition. Find a platter or a large plate, and fill it with goodies for after school.