The day before kindergarten, my grandma sat me down at our table and solemnly asked me, “Michael, what do you want for lunch tomorrow?” I had absolutely no idea. “I dunno, Gramma.” So she thought a little and said, “How about some peanut butter sandwiches? How’s that sound?” “Uh, sure, I guess.” And that’s how it all started…
I’m walking hand in hand with my mom towards my kindergarten classroom. New classroom, new teacher, new (and first) friends, new everything! I meet the teacher, I meet the kids, I don’t remember anyone’s names, and I don’t expect to come back sometime soon, but there I am the very next day romping around with a herd of kindergarteners in the miniscule playground developed for midgets like us. Oh, and lunchtime! Open up my plastic box with Batman splashed on the side to find a set of neatly made peanut butter sandwiches. “Where’s the jelly?” they ask. “I don’t like jelly, but I just love peanut butter!” I say, even though I would kill for a jelly-filled doughnut if I had the chance. And from that day forth, it was in my character to love peanut butter. At night, I often dreamed about sneaking downstairs, taking out the peanut butter and a SPOON, and selfishly scooping every last curl of peanut butter into my ravenous abyss of a gullet.
Ok, so my obsession with peanut butter wasn’t that bad, but the point is that I really did like peanut butter, mostly because I had it every single school day. It was a tradition that had been going on for years now, and every time I thought of peanut butter, all I could think of was, well, who made the sandwiches for me. It was my grandma all those mornings, making those sandwiches like no tomorrow. And it takes talent to make a peanut butter sandwich, trust me, and my grandma had no shortage of it.
I still get those peanut butter sandwiches, but there’s a difference now. Today, I truly appreciate the effort and care my grandma puts into making my sandwiches every day. She really does something special, my grandma. All that peanut butter – it takes more than just a cutting board and a knife to make that sandwich; it takes love. And all those sandwiches, each and every one of them, had the distinct aftertaste of being made with love, you know, the one people have after they eat a home-cooked meal that does NOT involve refried beans and artichoke casserole.
I believe in peanut butter, and I believe in how it makes me feel to know that there’s always that one person who’ll love me till the end, and keep making those peanut butter sandwiches. I believe that food not only brings stomachs but also hearts and minds closer together, and that the world would be a horribly boring, lifeless, and hateful place if humans had been photosynthetic instead of omnivores. I believe everyone should have a food that touches the deepest recesses of their souls. I believe in peanut butter!
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