When you send your kids out into the world, it’s inevitable that they will begin to compare their lives with what they see outside their homes. When my son made friends at school who were a rung or two above us on the socio-economic ladder, our house — which is solidly middle-class and perfect for our needs — suddenly looked like a dump to him.
And so it is with my young godson, whom I’ve been homeschooling this year. He says I make toast much better than his mother does. I can certainly sympathize. I suffered greatly during my childhood from inadequately prepared toast. My mother would smoosh a sad scraping of butter directly into the center, leaving a puddle of grease surrounded by bread as dry and unappealing as a desert in July. I knew there had to be a better way, and as soon as I was able to make my own toast, I perfected my technique — spreading a thin layer of butter evenly from crust to crust, and never, ever squashing the bread.
To be fair, my godson’s mother is otherwise a fine cook, but the truth is, not everyone can be a connoisseur of a fine piece of toast. And I’m glad I was able to introduce the child to one of life’s greatest pleasures.
— Betsy Biesenbach, a reader in Roanoke
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