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.
Peanut Noodles With Shrimp
- 14 oz. rice noodles
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon 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 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 lime (juice only*) (start with 1 tablespoon*)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 lb. raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 3 cups napa cabbage shredded
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots julienned
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped + more if desired
- green onions diced for garnish
- crushed roasted peanuts to sprinkle
- lime wedges
- Sriracha sauce optional
- spicy chili oil optional
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Rice noodles usually don't take longer than 4 to 5 minutes to cook. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients from the peanut butter to the fresh lime juice*. Whisk together until smooth, taste and adjust any ingredients as needed.
- Using a large non-stick pan or skillet, add the oil to the pan over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook on each side until pink. Turn the heat to medium low, and add in the napa cabbage, bell peppers and carrots. Toss together using tongs. Add in the rice noodles and pour in the peanut sauce and toss together for just a few minutes. I like to undercook the vegetables so they are still a little crunchy.
- Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro, green onions, peanuts and lime wedges. Mix in Sriracha or chili oil if desired. Enjoy!
Adapted from Allison Fishman’s recipe in My Recipes.