My Cute Little German Mother likes to eat the same thing for breakfast every day. She likes her oatmeal, with a few prunes stirred in. I remember when I was little and she would make my breakfast. She liked oatmeal then, too, but not all the time. Sometimes she would make me an “egg in the nest” – a piece of bread with a circle cut out of the center, which was filled with the egg and fried. I liked that breakfast the best. When I was little, Mom was always there … always. The only time I remember that she was away from home overnight was when she had my little sister. Dad tried to make my other sister and me an egg in the nest … it’s what we requested. While he made it, we commented many times on what a good job he was doing … how good it smelled, etc. You see, Dad never cooked … ever. Despite all of our comments to the contrary, neither me nor my sister would eat anything he cooked for us, including the eggs in the nest. Dad laughed about that for years after. Mom was the cook. Dad excelled at bedtimes stories, splinter removal, homework assistance, and many other things. But the kitchen was Mom’s territory. A boundary he never would have crossed anyway, given a choice. We managed not to starve until my mom got home. Then, with a newborn and suffering from constant sleep deprivation, she assumed all of her usual duties – things we never appreciated until we were grown. Now, when I see My Cute Little German Mother in the kitchen, microwaving her oatmeal, I think about those times. As I write this, I am visiting my sister, the aforementioned newborn, in Colorado Springs. My Cute Little German Mother likes that we visit, but she gives me the “guilt trip” for weeks before I go … I’m going to leave her all alone, etc. Just the other day she started crying when I mentioned the trip. I assured her that I would not be gone long. That my daughter, her granddaughter, would be home much of the time and could get her whatever she needed. I also reminded her that she had gone to visit my sister not so long ago, for about the same time. To which she sobbed, “Yes, but you like it ven I go.” “That is not true,” I lied. The truth is, though, that even if I do like time to myself on occasion, I enjoy her very much. I told her to cheer up and get back to her funny self, reminding her that I needed some material for my next column. It was time for some sort of stunt or something along those lines. “Vell,” she said, “I vill just have to sink about dat.”

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