A lifelong tradition has come to an end, and now 18-year-old Meg Sullivan has to start peeling her own oranges.
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Her father, Tom Sullivan, had been packing her lunch and peeling her oranges ever since she was in kindergarten. In the beginning, he did it just as a way to show he loved her and cared enough to put in that extra bit of time. Despite his family’s constant teasing — or, more likely because of it — the tradition continued all the way through her senior year.
But on Meg’s last day of school, she opened her lunch to find two unpeeled oranges and a printed page with instructions on how to peel oranges. Scribbled on the margin was a note from her dad: “It’s time baby girl.â€
“I thought it was just going to be a letter saying, ‘Happy last day of school!’ or something, so when I opened it I couldn’t help but smile,”she said.
And while she thought it was “super funny at first,”the bittersweet meaning of what those two unpeeled oranges symbolized eventually sunk in, and, “after a while it’s kind of sad.â€
The Tacoma, Washington, graduate will leave home soon to begin her freshman year at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, and it’s a departure father and daughter are anticipating with mixed emotions.
But Sullivan, who already has a son in college, said watching his children fly the coop is just a part of parenthood.
“I went through it once and it was pretty hard and (I’ll have to) go through it again,”he added. “It’s just what you do.â€
Of course, he could continue the tradition through college by packing dehydrated orange slices in her care packages…
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