Is it possible for a sandwich to be more than two pieces of bread surrounding peanut butter and jelly or meat and cheese?

Well for me, it most certainly was. I have three older siblings and one younger sibling, and all of us were home-schooled. My dad worked nights most of the time. My mom worked from home, on top of home-schooling each of us. Throw in all the extracurricular activities and needless to say, life was hectic. My name is Kevin Fodrey, and I was a sandwich child.

Kevin and his mom

Kevin and his mom

My mom always did what she thought was best for us.

But sometimes, it can be hard to please everyone all the time—especially when you have five crazy kids like me running around the house. To add to all the craziness of the Fodrey household, many of us were very picky eaters. This made cooking for us somewhat of a challenge. There was rarely a meal that everyone in the family liked. I was one of the pickiest and I often was the one who didn’t love what we were having. So how does a mom make time in her daily (already packed) schedule to make another meal for her picky child?

In our house, there was always something to eat.

No one ever went hungry, thanks to the ever-present loaf of bread sitting on the kitchen counter. In an effort to please everyone, my mom always made a sandwich available to those who didn’t want to eat the dinner that was prepared. I chose this option quite often.

I now know, looking back, just how much I appreciated that sandwich when the smell of mushroom and onion soup would come pouring out of the kitchen, filling my nostrils with a smell that made me rethink eating all together. But I was a hungry boy; Heaven knew nothing would stop me from eating entirely. I used to stick up my nose, cross my arms, and proclaim that I would not eat that foul smelling soup. To which my mom would always reply,

“Looks like you’re having a sandwich then.”

Was that supposed to be a punishment or was it just convenient? Either way, I was happy with the outcome.

Now that I’m not a little kid anymore, I asked my mom why she only ever offered a sandwich as a replacement meal. The reason was simple: whatever we threw on that bread, she knew that we would be getting a nutritious meal. Despite my picky eating habits, my mom made sure that I was receiving the nutrition I needed to grow. Looking back, I have much more appreciation for my mom and those sandwiches she always had available for us.

Thanks, Mom! And Happy Mother’s Day from your “Sandwich Child."

Kevin Fodrey is a recent graduate of Huntington University and former sandwich child.