The source of quirky habits

I was packing my lunch this morning and realized that I was moving out of the turkey phase and back to the peanut butter and jelly phase.  As I set about making my PB&J sandwich, I had the following little daydream:

I am preparing Zachary’s lunch for school.  He is standing beside me, head reaching to my hip, watching me work.  With the knife I spread the peanut butter thickly on one side of the bread.  Then I reach for the spoon, spoon out a glob of grape jelly and use the back of the spoon to spread it on the other side of the bread.

Zach gets a curious look on his face.  "Daddy," he says, "why do you use a knife for the peanut butter and a spoon for the jelly?"

I think about this and realize that from his perspective, this is a fundamental question, harking back to why the universe works the way it does.  The problem is that I don’t have a good answer.  If he had asked why the sky was blue or why the sun appeared redder in the evening, I would have been able to explain it without trouble.  But he asked why I used a knife for the peanut butter and a spoon for the jelly.  Since I was always taught that honesty is the best policy, I decided to go for broke. 

"Well," I say, "I don’t really have a good reason.  Everyone else in the world probably uses a knife for both.  But this is the way your grandpa made my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I was growing up, and it’s the way I learned how to do it.  I just feels comfortable this way."

Zach smiles, showing a few missing teeth.  "When I grow up, I’m going to use a knife and spoon just like you, Daddy," he says.

Incidentally, I definitely felt Zach move this morning, sometime around 3:30 AM.  Since the previous time I wasn’t certain, I’ll consider this one the definite one and record it hereafter as the first time I felt him move.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.