The taste of peanut butter
After days of clouds and momentary glimpses of the sun, today I have to shield my eyes from the light as I drive. I listen to Isaac chattering away in the backseat. Between moments of sucking his thumb he asks, “We’re going to have a picnic today?”
I glance in the rearview mirror to meet Isaac’s eyes, I see a glint of the sun reflecting.
“We sure are,” I tell him.
“Oma coming too?” He asks.
“Yep, she’ll be there. She’s packing lunches for us.”
Before he puts his thumb back into his mouth he says, “I like having picnics with Oma.”
“Me too, buddy, me too.”
As we pull into the park 20 minutes from our house and only 5 minutes from my mom’s house, I give thanks for the chance to have picnics with my mom, Isaac’s Oma. She moved from her home of 25 years to be closer to us, selling her house, and forever leaving the 11 hour drive behind her so that she could see her grandchildren.
The last two years have included adventure days to parks, gardens, and museums. No matter whether we're driving to the next town or two hours to the city, everywhere we go with Oma is called an adventure.
Today while my oldest daughter, Charlotte, is at school, Isaac and I get time with Oma. Driving to the park we see leaves of red and orange, there’s a hint of coolness in the air, and I feel sadness at the coming change in seasons. Not because I don’t love fall or winter, but because I know the cold will keep us from these safe, distanced picnics with my mom. The pandemic’s grip seems far from releasing.
“I see Oma, I see Oma,” Isaac yells breaking me from my thoughts. I pull in next to her car. “Let me out, let me out!” Isaac waves his arms and kicks his legs.
When he’s free from the car seat, he bolts through the grass towards the water where Oma sits on a bench. I wonder if she’s feeling the weight of the changing seasons too, or perhaps she’s simply bearing witness to this time and moment giving thanks for the chance to be outside.
I watch Isaac run into her legs with a hug and a smile. I sit down on the bench and listen to the water’s welcome. Isaac squats down by a broken tree branch. He looks serious and then a smile breaks out, “Look! Look! Mushrooms!” He points to white mushrooms growing in a cluster. My mom moves closer to him to study the find. The two of them on a quest searching for beauty in unexpected places.
After our walk around the pond Isaac is the first to declare, “I’m tired from all this walking. Is it time for our picnic now?”
Oma grabs the lunch bags from her car, sets the picnic table with her flamingo tablecloth, and unpacks each item one by one.
Isaac taps his hands on the table, “I’m so excited.”
She hands out sandwiches. Isaac wastes no time opening the foil and taking a bite.
“Mmmmm. This is good.”
He takes another bite, a piece of bread sticks on the side of his mouth.
“I like my sandwich.”
“Best picnic ever!” Isaac declares, hands lifted to the sky like a preacher delivering the final blessing.
I watch him and my mom eat their sandwiches as the breeze brings a chill. Leaves rustle underneath the table, and in the distance I hear birds chirping. I want to savor this moment, not think about what is to come, but celebrate what is right in front of me.
The best picnic ever complete with the best sandwich ever - one made by a grandmother to a grandson. Love prayed through the making and grace given in the offering.
I glance at Isaac’s sandwich wondering what it is that makes this the best sandwich ever. Store bought whole wheat bread slathered with peanut butter and jelly.
A slice of heaven broken and shared.
This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in this series "Savor."
Savor Photo Credit: @pheonixfeatherscalligraphy for C+C, 2020