Ode to a Peanut Butter Sandwich

peanut butter sandwichYour relationship with my son has been reliable, stable.

Always there, in that reusable Tupperware container in the bottom of the backpack.

Day after day, Monday through Friday.

Never on a weekend. Weekends are made for hot dogs or soup; for grilled cheese or leftover pizza.

Oh, there have been others before you.

I recall a particularly expensive phase of roast beef in fourth grade.

Several dalliances with a school lunch purchase; maybe a tempting order of Beef Nachos or Mini Cheeseburgers. Relationships that soured almost the moment the food crossed his lips.

And then you came along, simple and easy. Two ingredients, that’s all.

Whole wheat bread. Smooth peanut butter.

And suddenly, there was no other.

Somewhere early on in middle school, the relationship became exclusive. I was a willing enabler after a while, admittedly because you were easy.

I’m not ashamed to admit that, really.

So for the past seven years we’ve met each morning at the kitchen counter; danced our dance with a knife and a few crumbs.

Over 1,200 times, at last count.

But it’s over now; it’s time for me to let you go.

This morning was our last rendezvous by the pantry, the last time we’ll create crumbs together in an attempt to provide brain food to a busy high school kid.

I wish you well.

And while you and I won’t be together anymore, there’s still hope for you.

You might find yourself in a dorm room come September.

Comments

  1. Awww, so sweet!

  2. Too funny! I should start a tally sheet now for Hank….

  3. I so miss peanutbutter.

    Confession: I used to bring one every day in high school – just Jif Extra Chunk and bread – and most days, I’d just end up eating cookies and I’d have to clear 12 brown lunch bags out of my locker. Never occurred to me to ask for something else. DOH!

  4. At 40-something I still LOVE a peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwich–with a big glass of milk, of course! πŸ™‚

  5. Peanut butter really, truly has no equivalent.

    Love you Sherri.

  6. Do you know how sweet you are to have made his lunch for him every day for so many years? I remember hitting middle school and suddenly it was my own responsibility. I hope I can find joy in doing something so simple for my boy as he grows.

  7. You have a knack for making something sad and funny at the same time. Perfect comic relief, Sherri!

    This line is so awesome, “Oh, there have been others before you.”

  8. So sweet! You make me feel better about giving my kids these every day, too!

  9. As a mother of a 12 and 6 year old…I long for the days of college acceptance letters.

  10. One, I love peanut butter.

    Two, I love your writing.

    Three, I love your sentiment.

    xo

  11. *sigh*

    Unbelievable, isn’t it just?

  12. He’s all done, isn’t he?

    Now that the peanut butter says it’s so?

    Sob, sniffle.

    XO

  13. I eat a PBJ for lunch. Every. Day.

  14. And I’m sure nothing will taste better to him than a peanut butter sandwich made by you and eaten in his new dorm room!

    Congratulations and hugs. XO

  15. This was such a cute way to talk about your son going to college. You are so creative! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bawl my eyes out and just the THOUGHT of my son leaving for college. They’re 3 and 6!

  16. I am actually sitting here eating PB out of the jar with a spoon. nom.nom.nom.

  17. So perfect Sherri, I hope you are doing okay without that peanut butter sandwich today. Does it all really happen this fast??

  18. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were my favorite as a kid…Little Lewie doesn’t seem to care for them too much, but I’m trying. These sandwiches really are the easiest to make, and I’m uncreative when it comes to lunch, so I’m begging him to just give them another try! Oh, how I’d love to spend the next twelve years making this simple sandwich…. Congrats on your soon-to-be college student…I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if Mom sent a few extra PB sandwiches his way. There’s one thing better than a PB sandwich and that’s a PB sandwich you don’t have to make!

  19. Definitely will follow him to college – it’s fast and it’s cheap!! Perfect for busy and broke college students πŸ™‚

  20. I’ve enjoyed reading all the ways you see things differently now that your son is heading to college (the plants, the costumes, the peanut butter!). Tell the peanut butter not to feel bad. I’m sure it’ll end up in the dorm room, probably consumed straight off a spoon. (The bread might not be so lucky.)

  21. Girrrrrlllll…. I can’t take it anymore! I too am closing in on my last high school PB sammy. My heart is breaking. Funny how something I dread doing every morning is now turning into something I cherish. Sniff…

  22. Oh Sherri…..
    Sorry, I was caught in song for a moment.
    Being on the other end of the PB Sammy life continuum I still feel the tears coming to my eyes as I read your words.
    I adore you.
    Also: love a good PB&J.

  23. Aww… sniff. Is it wrong that this brought tears to my eyes?

  24. You know when you get tears in your nose? The tingly, burn-y kind? I have those.

    Makes me want to make Joshua a grilled cheese.

    Thanks for this reminder to keep the small things close.

  25. Swinging by from BFF! I wouldn’t close the door on your relationship yet… there are still may be a few more lunch packings in your future! Add grape jelly to the mix and I am still in the early years of a very similar relationship!

  26. this is me…one year from today. Now you’ve made me emotional and i NEVER GET EMOTIONAL.

    We’ve been through lots of PB and now with my third getting close to leaving the nest, it just won’t be the same. Now when i run the dishwasher, the knives will be clean the FIRST TIME!

  27. You too?? Every. Day. Only mine is made with Nutella, for the daughter’s lunch. Has been this way for two years and I’m sure will not change in the two years to go.

    My son. Turkey and mustard.

    Every. Day.

    This made me smile! πŸ™‚

  28. I think you need to send him with a Sams Club size pack of plastic knives, jar of PB and a freezer full of bread.

    That should last him through first semester, easy. πŸ™‚

  29. i am in love with your ability to find the sweet and the sad in all the small things about your lovely boy growing up.

    You mingle them so perfectly together.

    it’s comforting.

    Like peanut butter and wheat bread.

  30. I’m sure he’ll eat a steady diet of the same in college. πŸ™‚

    It’s Fluffernutter or bust in our house!

  31. This is awesome πŸ™‚ I can relate to the way you’re feeling (since my son has just completed his freshman year of college). Your sense of humor will help!

  32. I don’t know how it’s possible I didn’t comment on this post the first time around but it’s even more timely now. Next week is Jack’s last as a junior. As of August, he’ll be a senior and his schedule will end at noon so I won’t be packing him lunch anymore.

    I have packed his lunch every day for his entire life (since he started daycare at 10 weeks old) and for the past two years, peanut butter sandwiches have been his go-to. The ONLY thing he wants. I asked him if he ever gets sick of it…

    Nope.

    Since next week is a finals schedule, he ends early on Tuesday through Friday. This means I have three days left of packing him lunch. Forever.
    Tomorrow, Friday, and Monday.
    I didn’t even think about that until now.

    Most days, I sighed while I made his sandwiches, washed his fruit, picked a yogurt or a bag of chips. I grumbled and complained about it just like the rest of us moms. But when people suggested that he was old enough to make his own lunches, I just smiled.

    I grumbled about a lot of things I loved.
    Including him.

    And here’s the truth: I am not a sucker. I am lucky.
    Three more days of peanut butter.
    I’m going to savor them.

  33. Such a beautiful piece, and such a simple subject – and yet, so not.

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ll need to remember it as I struggle with the pbjs and turkey roll-ups in the coming years.

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