You know how you have these moments with your family where your heart swells a million times its size, and you just want to squeeze each one of your loves (the big one and the little ones) till they pop? Well, I’ve had a few of those lately.
Actually it happens a lot, but more often than not, these moments escape me through that rabbit hole in my mind. And it’s sad when I can’t remember that funny thing Little Miss said, or the hilarious reaction from Thumper. What was it again?
These moments are small, seemingly insignificant in the grand scheme of things because they’re fleeting, and as such, easily forgotten. Today, I want to bottle some of those up right here, for the someday where we may need them to remind us that it’s moments like these that make us who we are as a family. And why, no matter where life takes us, this is where we will always belong.
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(Naturally, a family of eaters will have plenty of food-related stories.)
Roast chicken is a hit in our house. It’s so easy to make, and everyone loves it in their own way. All white meat for daddy, back, wings and thighs for me, and skin and drumsticks for Little Miss, who’s starting to be adept at eating bone-in chicken, which makes my Asian genes tingle. As for the little one, she’s happy with anything. It’s like we all have our assigned parts, with Thumper as our backup.
The only problem is that we never have any leftovers.
Dynamic Dinner Duo
My Guy and I decided to make dinner together one evening, dividing the task by preparing our own course. I made salad with some spicy candied walnuts that I whipped up that evening, sprinkled over some pear, dried cranberries and goat cheese on a bed of greens in balsamic vinaigrette.
He made…Sloppy Joe’s.
Sometimes, I think that’s our relationship in a nutshell.
Me: What shall we have for takeout tonight?
Little Miss, 3yo: We haven’t had sushi in a long time...
(Have I ever mentioned how much I love this girl? Sometimes she’s so me, it’s scary. And a little bit awesome.)
At our sushi dinner that evening, I looked forward to the end of the meal as usual, when I could indulge in my favorites, fresh salmon sashimi and Ikura (salmon roe). I saved the best for last to savor the flavors, a sushi ritual I’ve enjoyed for a long time.
I knew Little Miss loved Ikura too, which was why we ordered two pieces, but when Thumper began to eye the other piece, I had a sinking feeling. We gave her a morsel, and she asked for more. And more.
I panicked. But...but...but...
At that point, I wasn’t sure if I should be proud of her or sad for me. I went with both.
For me, I am stretching after my morning run.
For her, it’s an invitation to play, climbing on top of me, bouncing and saying, “Yee Haw!”. Even when I’m not ready to get down on the floor yet, she pulls me down, “Yee Haw?”
This is now a part of my running ritual.
As a fun fall decor, I arranged these mini pumpkins to resemble our family size-wise. My Guy took one look at it and got it immediately. Little Miss got a kick out of them too, pointing from left to write, “That’s daddy, mommy, me, and Thumper!”
Later, when the girls were preoccupied and with a smirk on his face, My Guy turned my attention back to the pumpkins, and I found this:
From pumpkins to humpkins. Sadly, it wasn’t even surprising. That’s what happens when you live with a boy in his twenties going on 14.
On the day of the election, Little Miss, who has been dressing herself to school lately, came out of her bedroom clad in red, and I was aghast. Not the color I was hoping to see on an important day like that, but I bit my tongue. I didn’t want to discourage her from dressing herself, so off to school she went, looking like a supporter for the opposing party.
After she left, and just before going to vote, My Guy and I dressed ourselves in blue, and we did the same for Thumper. We couldn’t take anymore chances. Yes, I can be a little superstitious, but being Asian, I don’t have much of a choice. I think it’s in my DNA.
Later that evening, Little Miss was home from school when the TV was showing election coverage after the polls started to close. I knew it was early, but it didn’t stop me from worrying about the too-small gap between the two presidential candidates. When I snapped out of the numbers on TV, the first thing I noticed was the red on Little Miss, and I couldn’t take it anymore: “I think you should go change now.”
She knew what I meant because we had discussed the colors earlier, and when she heard the gravity of my voice, this girl, who normally fought me at every turn and said no just to spite me, mirrored my concern on her face and uttered not a sound before running downstairs to get into her blue nightgown. You see, she was also rooting for the same guy.
Then she came back to the living room and cuddled with me while My Guy dressed Thumper for bed in our room. As he made his way into the girls’ bedroom, it was Little Miss who first noticed and exclaimed, “Uh-oh. Thumper’s in red.”
We looked at the girl in her red fleece footie pajamas and gasped. D-oh!
We scrambled to find her blue sleepwear, but, having found none, had to settle on seafoam green instead. Hey, it was closer to blue than pink and lilac. With our family in blue (and seafoam green), all was right-ish with the world again.
And that, ladies and gentleman, I believe was how Barack Obama won his second term as President.
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How do you capture your family’s favorite moments? Do you remember one in particular that you’d like to share?