As a mother, I often find myself doing things for my kids, little things, that they don’t notice or mention or say anything about. Things that I just do because I love them and I care about. My kids are too young now but I often wonder if they will realize these little things when they get older.
Looking back now- and I probably started reflecting more on my relationship with my mother and how much she did for me when I was in college and definitely after I got married and had kids of my own- I see and remember all the things my mother did for me when I was growing up. Things that I probably didn’t notice at the time or thank her for. My mom owned and operated her own Korean grocery store, which was very labor intensive and required long hours from her. She worked so hard everyday, Monday-Sunday. And years later, would finally get someone to help her run the store so she could take Sundays off.
The thing that stands out in my mind was how self-less my mother was and how much she loved me. And although she never said it much when we were little, she showed us through her actions. When I was in high school, I was on the drill team. The group of gals who came out during the half-time show at football games, kicking and doing dance routines. Yes, I was that girl. Well, kind of.
I can’t remember if it was my senior year but we were about to go into competition and all the mothers were to show up at the school and sew our costumes for us. My lovely, awesome mother went to my high school, not knowing any of the other moms- because she was always working and well, let’s be honest, felt more comfortable with her Korean friends (nothing wrong with that; Korean being her first language). She came to my high school for like a week and sat there and sewed my three costumes/outfits for me.
After working a 10-hour day and leaving the store early so she could be there. For me. Her daughter.
Even though Father’s Day just passed, I have been thinking a lot lately about my mom. Even though she lives in Dallas, we are very close and we talk on the phone very frequently. Her health isn’t the best right now and she is actually going to have a kidney transplant at the end of July. This will be my mom’s second kidney transplant, her first was when I was a kid, several several years ago. So, this kidney, which was donated by her sister, my aunt has lasted a long time.
This time, my sister, Grace, is the match and will be donating her kidney to my mother. These two women are my heros. I don’t know two women who are more brave, honest, loving and hard working.
It took me a while before I realized and really appreciated what an awesome, loving mother I have. . and believe me, I am NOT comparing myself to my mother but it will probably take many many years before my daughters begin to realize and see what I do for them. But that’s ok.
They are kids.
They are young. Kids just say things sometimes. Like tonight. When Phoebe, my 6 year old, who knew I was cooking dinner (and I was making this because she loves shrimp and pasta), says to me, “Can we just order pizza tonight?” They were playing outside with their friends and Paul, my husband, was watching them. I simply said, “Dinner is ready.” and came back into the house. Paul, I’m sure, said something to her because she comes inside- all excited- and says, “Oh, yummy! What’s for dinner tonight Mommy?”
And as she was slurping up these noodles, I thought to myself, I love this kid. She will say things to me that I don’t like. She will say things later to me I’m sure that will hurt me and cause me pain (when she’s older, hormonal and crazy). But I’m her mother. I will just love her. Always. And keep doing these little things I do for her.
Simply because I love her.
Spicy Asian Peanut Noodles with Shrimp
- 3/4 lb. of dried linguine
- 2 lbs. frozen shrimp; defrosted make sure it's peeled and deveined
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger; grated
- 1-2 cloves garlic; minced OR 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes + more if desired
- 1 small napa cabbage; thinly sliced lengthwise try to get at least 3-4 cups
- 1 1/2 red bell peppers; seeded and thinly sliced + remaining half for garnish if desired
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro; chopped + more for garnish
- 3-4 scallions; diced
- roasted peanut bits for garnish I just smash roasted peanuts in a plastic bag
- lime wedges
- Sriracha sauce
- Cook the linguine according to package directions until al dente and during the last 3 minutes while the pasta is cooking, add the shrimp into the pasta water (with the pasta). Drain, rinse and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients from the peanut butter to the red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust/add if needed.
- Using a wok or large non-stick pan, pour in the peanut butter/soy sauce mixture and heat on medium low. Add the pasta and shrimp and turn to coat. Next, add the cabbage, bell peppers, cilantro, and scallions and toss to combine. Cook for only 2-3 minutes. Serve and garnish with more cilantro, raw red bell pepper strips, peanuts and lime wedges. Mix in Sriracha sauce if desired.
Adapted from Allison Fishman’s recipe in My Recipes.