As parents, every time one stage comes to an end and before another one begins, there are things to mourn. Some of them are big things (like no longer having teenagers in your house), and some are small (for instance, not putting bows in your daughter’s hair before preschool because she will no longer let you).
No matter the size of the milestone, in the grand scheme, they all hurt a bit.
Meg Sullivan’s dad knows it, too, and at the center of his difficulty is a bag of unpeeled oranges and a note.
“My dad has been peeling oranges for my lunch since kindergarten,” Meg wrote on Twitter, “and on my last day of high school I got this instead.”
Inside the bag was a note that read, “It’s time, baby girl”, paired with a crying face. The words were written on a printed out slip of paper from WikiHow, which had detailed, step-by-step information on how to properly peel an orange.
Meg shared that her dad, Tom Sullivan, has been peeling oranges for her lunchbox since she was in Kindergarten. Her family began joking with her around the beginning of her final year in High School that soon she’ll have to peel her own oranges.
“It was mostly in fun, but absolutely, it was, this is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, where it’s going to be different,” the 52-year-old dad told TODAY. “It represents all of the things she’s going to need to be doing on her own.”
(We know we’re not the only ones a little choked up right now.)
It’s obvious that Meg is feeling those changes, too, and feels similarly to her dad. She told Buzzfeed of him, “I’m his last kiddo leaving for college this year, and you can tell he’s really really sad about it. He has always gone above and beyond and is easily the cutest and most caring man I’ll ever know. It’s gonna break my heart to leave him for college, no doubt.”
Meg’s post has over 110,000 retweets and almost a half-million likes on Twitter. Just like us, it seems as though the internet truly enjoys seeing a beautiful, humorous, secure bond between children and their parents.
If nothing else, this story teaches us that even small gestures can create feelings of security and love. It is just one of the many ways that Tom loves Meg, that he peeled her oranges for her every day of her school career.
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.