Peanut Butter Sandwiches vs. Grits with Bacon

When I was young, I did not like peanut butter. It actually made me gag. I think it had more to do with the texture than the taste, because I loved peanuts in any other form, and still do. My Granny used to babysit me while Mama and Daddy were at work, and she served peanut butter sandwiches for lunch almost every day. She would never believe me when I said I did not like peanut butter, because “everybody likes peanut butter.”

I was also sick a lot as a child, and when I was sick, I would go stay with my Grandmother. Even after I quit being so puny, I stayed with Grandmother and Granddad almost every weekend. Compared to Granny, Grandmother was like that wonderful nanny, Mary Poppins. She fed me grits. She fried bacon up crisp, just like I liked it, and she did not grumble when I crumbled that crispy bacon up into my grits and ate it watching Saturday morning cartoons.

Back in the day, nobody had ever heard of live-in nannies and I still don’t know a single family here who uses one. Those are the only two sitters I really remember. My mom kept me with her mostly. I’m not sure if that’s a regional thing, or what, the expectation that you will be the primary caregiver for your own children, but it feels right to me.

Oh, how did the peanut butter sandwich thing work out? Well, when I was 12, I stopped staying with Granny. I forget what the catalyst was, but it was sudden and final. One night I was told “you won’t be going back”, and I never did again. My sister and I would get off the school bus, she would go to Granny’s and I would go on home. We lived right behind Granny at the time. I continued to eats grits and bacon at my Grandmother’s until I left home.

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