August 2018

Let Your Children Know You Love Them Every Day at Lunch

Aptos Mother Creates Award-Winning Lunch Notes Series

By Brad Kava

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When Patty Benson was growing up, she felt out of place in school. She was a Tom Boy and didn’t feel like she fit in with the girls in her elementary school. She was the only girl on her school’s football team.

But every day at lunch, she got a treat from her mother–a special hand-written note celebrating some aspect of their lives together. They were funny, loving, endearing and they made her day.

“I felt someone was thinking of me and it made going to school so much easier,” she says. “It made a huge difference in my life. I wish I had saved them all. I always felt that something was coming in my lunch that made a connection.”

Benson was raised in Philadelphia and moved to new York after college to work for ABC Sports as a graphic designer. that led to stints at CBS, “the View,” and Ricki Lake. She met her husband, Kevin Painchaud, in Los Angeles where he was producing a TV travel series. She was also an on-camera carpenter on the TV shows Home Improvement and Knock First. They moved to Aptos to be closer to his family and because they loved the area.

When she sent her daughter, Tess, 7, to school, she wanted to do the same thing her mother did for her and realized she could do it in a way that would help other parents too.

“The toughest part for parents is what am i going to write?” says the 43- year-old, who has worked in TV and designing websites. “I love you, I miss you…I thought, what if I gave them a prompt for something more. It would be easier and make them special.”

So her notes say things at the top such as: “I love it when you…” and “Remember the time we…” and “I laugh when I think about…” and the moms and dads fill in the rest. Each pad has 25 different prompts, all of them amusing.

“Kids bring them home and keep them in a special box,” says Benson. “We save them. it increases the bond between parents and kids.

Benson started writing them for Tess when her daughter was 3 and her teacher had to read them to her. It was a joy for teacher and student.

Now, she’s selling her notepads online at and has added a line of love notes for husbands and wives that say things such as “It makes me smile when you…” and “Tonight lets…” her pads won second place at the national stationery show in New York.

“The most important thing for me is to make kids feel loved,” says Benson. “and to have this connection.”

You can buy the note pads at A pack of three, with 25 notes in each, sells for $14.95.

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