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Where Cheeseburgers Come From
by Lisa Barker

Recently, while on vacation, the kids and I spied a little shop called Sin Sations.

Fresh baked donuts immediately sprang to mind and I drove over, but for the life of me I could not reconcile what I saw with the vision of glazed goodies dancing in my wee brain. Sin Sations is an adult shop and has nothing to do with bear claws and éclairs.

I'm not as worldly as I thought. Not by a long shot. Then, the kids started asking questions.

"Ma, what's that shop?"

"It's not appropriate."

"It says 'toys'."

"Yes, but not for kids."

"What is sex?"

"Who wants a Happy Meal?" At least I know I can count on what I anticipate when I see golden arches.

Which reminds me…recently, the kids and I were gift buying and my son and I stepped into a shop with flashy lights, lava lamps and t-shirts with attitude in the window.   We couldn't see the other items they offered until we stepped inside.

My son quickly announced that the store was not appropriate for us. A father of three little ones had reached the same conclusion and was quickly leading his children back out the door.

Once outside my son asked, "Did you see that one t-shirt?"

Was that all he saw? Thank you, God, for that! "Isn't there a McDonald's around here?" I asked, falling back on my tried and true change of topic.

It's getting so that I look for the golden arches as my savior for these types of situations. And it must be rubbing off on the kids.

Flipping through the television stations the other night a very inappropriate ad for wild young people appeared and was quickly changed. And, like Pavlov's dog, all the kids piped up: "Can we get a McFlurry?"

You know what this means, don't you?

It means I'm going to be spending a whole lot of money at McDonald's as the kids mature. For some there are the birds and bees. For me, it's double cheeseburgers and milkshakes.

Once upon a time Dad and Mom met at McDonald's and we ordered two double quarter-pounders with cheese…and, because we loved each other very much, they gave us five little cheeseburgers to boot!

I'm sure that lesson will be clear as ketchup.

Seriously, though, the kids already know where cheeseburgers come from. They also know all about condiments, too, thanks to Health Ed.

I just want them to wait until they find a good corn-fed patty on a wholesome whole-grain bun before they start thinking about making cheeseburgers. And I think they will.  Thanks to my analogies, the older ones will never look at a cheeseburger the same again.