The end of the school year is finally upon us, which means most parents of school-aged kids are now starting to stress, wondering how they’re going keep their kids entertained for an entire summer (AKA the three longest months of the year). But for parents of high school seniors, this year will signify new beginnings, as they push their young birds out of the nest and hope that they did all they could to prepare them for the real world, armed with the life skills necessary to thrive.
Like learning how to peel an orange, for example.
Such was the life lesson 18-year-old Meg Sullivan learned recently, when she opened her lunch on the last day of high school and discovered a plastic sandwich bag with two oranges inside, along with a note from her dad.
“My dad has been peeling oranges for my lunch since kindergarten,” Meg later explained on Twitter, “[and] on my last day of high school I got this instead.”
“It’s time, baby girl,” the note began (along with the drawing of a crying sad face). When she unfolded the note, she saw that it was written on a print-out from WikiHow, with detailed instructions on how to peel an orange.
(Cue the tears!)
Meg’s tweet has since been retweeted more than 100k times — and it’s easy to see why.
As the teen told Buzzfeed News, “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.”
Meg also shared that her dad, Tom Sullivan, has been packing all of her lunches since she was kindergarten, and that peeling her oranges had actually become something of a family tradition. As she neared the end of high school, her family began to tease her about having to peel her own.
When she finished her last day of school and went home, the teen’s dad wanted to know if she’d had any trouble. But thanks to her thoughtful instructions, Meg was happy to report that she powered through, and was able to peel each one all by herself. (VICTORY!)
“I’m his last kiddo leaving for college this year, and you can tell he’s really really sad about it,” Meg told the outlet. “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.”
Parents everywhere are wiping away tears while reading this story because it reveals a sad truth that eventually, no matter how loving or how needed our help is, our kids are going to fly the coop. Not only did Tom teach his daughter how to peel an orange, but he taught her the endurance of love, the tenacity for a simple tradition to transform a family, and most important of all the power of family.
Good luck to Meg Sullivan as she heads off to the next big chapter of her life!