One day, at the beginning of my sophomore year in high school, I came home and told my mom, "There were some kids smoking something in the back of the bus, and the smell made me feel weird". My mom started driving me to school after that. (Ha! Love you, Mom!)
I remember one time I left her a note in the car, saying something like, "Thanks for always driving me to school, Mom! I appreciate it!" Years and years later, I saw that she still had that note. I mean, a teenager, thanking their parent for something?! She probably should have framed it.
She used to put little notes in my school lunches. Just silly little things. They didn't say much, but I remember liking it. I'm sure I never told her that - heaven forbid. It was just a simple little way to show she cared.
For a few months now, I've been doing something similar. When I pick Dylan up from preschool, I usually arrive five or ten minutes early, so I make a doodle, or write something on a piece of paper, and leave it sitting on his car seat. I tell him "I left you a message!"
Truth be told, it all started because I was having a heck of a time getting him into the car. "I wanna ring the bell!" (The school is at a church, and there is a bell outside). "I wanna touch the flag!" "Look at the flower!" "There's a stick/rock/leaf!" "DYLAN! GET IN THE CAR!!!" After a few hundred times, I finally realized that I should be using my head, instead of my big mouth. You have to be crafty with these little people.
The next day, when I picked him up, I told him, "I left a message for you in the car!" He couldn't get in fast enough! Now, obviously, he can't read, except for his name, and maybe 10 other small words, but it doesn't matter. I made something for him. I wrote something for him. He matters to me. That's the message.