Parents Perspective

Advice From My Mom: Lunchbox Letters

Let's just face it: Middle school, especially as a shy girl, is nothing short of difficult. Not only are you trying to navigate shaky social landscapes, but you're starting to figure out how to become the person you want to be. Sometimes, the most sage advice can come from the oft-overlooked advisors in our lives: Mom or Dad. (And believe it or not, they do actually know what they're talking about).

Skye Gould, the associate graphic designer at Business Insider, recently revisited the wisdom her mother left her in the form of letters—lunchbox letters, to be exact.

During her sixth grade year at North Middle School in Lima, OH, Skye's mom, Stephanie, slipped a note into her lunch almost every day. The tradition started with earnest roots: Stephanie was a working mom and wanted to make up for lost time with her kids. The letters sometimes dealt with mundane, ordinary topics, but always had an important message or sliver of insight for Skye to carry with her (literally and figuratively) the rest of the day.

Almost 10 years later, as Skye started to dream up a master's project for graduate school at Ohio University's Scipps College of Communication, she remembered that she had kept every single one of those lunchbox letters and wanted to share them with the rest of the world. Enter "Advice From My Mom," where Skye's archives of all her mom's letters, interspersed with reflections and family pictures, now live. I dare you not to get watery eyes reading through some of the best notes.

Even though she had entirely forgotten about saving every letter, Skye says that going through them as an adult made her realize that so much of the commentary her mom left really stuck with her the rest of her life.

"The messages behind them have always been stuck inside my head - to be confident and brave and follow my gut. She repeatedly told me these things and ... eventually I circled back around and was able to find so much meaning in the whole thing," Skye says.

With Mother's Day just around the corner, clicking through Skye's letters on Advice From My Mom should inspire you to hold onto every little momento—and piece of wisdom—that your parents leave for you. One day, you'll be happy you did.