Toothpicks for Minnie: A Mother’s Day Tribute

There certainly was. Mother Nature had seen to that. I looked in the mirror and saw Mother in my high cheek bones. I saw her in my straight hair. I even saw her in the shape of my hands. Mother seemed to be everywhere.

The more I tried to deny my mother’s influence, the more that I realized we had in common. Both of us have “old” names. Mother’s name is Minnie. When Minnie was young, names like Dorothy, Betty and Margaret were the rage. While nearly every girl in my class was a Mary, Deborah or Patricia, I popped up as a Marion.

When I get up out of a chair, I smooth out my dress or pants like Mother. We cook alike, both sending up an occasional smoke signal. I even keep house like Mother. We both believe it will keep until tomorrow, and book “Z” of the encyclopedia becomes fascinating reading at the sight of a dust rag.

But the toothpick incident teaches a lesson far greater than that of similarities between mother and daughter. It teaches a lesson of love. If I don’t love and accept my mother for who she is, how can I love and accept myself? Mother — whose reflection I am, was and always will be.

And Mother’s idiosyncrasy? Somehow, it doesn’t matter much anymore. Now I’m wondering about an old proverb. If it’s true that a child is known by his actions, does this mean Mother will know me by my toothpicks?

Copyright © 2021 Marion Amberg

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