While the boys played Warriors in the backyard (the youngest: I am Farticus the Weally Stwong!), I poked about in the pantry and decided to make old-fashioned peanut butter cookies. The kind with fork marks. The kind my mom used to make.
Peanut butter without fail reminds me of two things. One is my kindergarten year. Kindy was half-days, so I came home for lunch every day. My mother taught at the school which I attended, and her day was full-day. Another mother would drive me home, and Rosalee, who worked for our family, would meet me at the door and ask me what I wanted for lunch. E-v-e-r-y day, I would reply, "Peanut butter and jelly, please." And every day she would ask if I was sure, didn't I want egg salad, or devilled ham, or, or, or. She always ended up making me my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sighing profusely as she did so. After I finished eating, she would tell me I was tired. I would protest I was not, but she would carry me up the stairs - I can still feel how the top she wore felt against my cheek - and she would lay me down in my bed and I would immediately fall asleep.
The other thing peanut butter reminds me of is my father. I feel like back then we didn't have as much fresh produce year-round as we do now. I mean, you could get tomatoes, but only during tomato season. Produce had specific seasons back then, and if my memory is correct, pineapples were really expensive. My father would celebrate the return of each fruit aloud, exclaiming joy over the return of strawberries or oranges or what-have-you. And bananas, well, to him they were for enjoying in peanut butter and banana sandwiches. And I was strictly about peanut butter and jelly still, so I would gasp and hold my nose and screech, "Eeew! That's so gross!" every time. And he would laugh and his eyes would twinkle as he finished his sandwich.
While I made the peanut butter cookies today, I thought about these things, my mom's cookies and Rosalee's arms around me and my dad's sandwiches, all lost now except in my mind. Then I opened the back door and called for the boys, my young warriors full of energy and youth and memories of their own.