Mom Love – Chinese Way
Our mom was a typical Chinese with about 50 years of American influence. Our mom does not do the American mom show of love. When she is upset with me, she calls me “monkey king.” She does not give compliments. She definitely did not give me any hugs. Yet we all love mom more than dad.
She was the faithful mom who took care of us. She was the peacemaker between dad and us. She faithfully provided us with meals when we were home. Later when I was a little older and can take care of my sisters, she would accompany dad as they go out to play Mahjong. I think she goes along to make sure dad does not spend too much money.
If I remember correctly, for our meals, we would always have some sort of soup, vegetable, and meat. The soup was not just to quench our thirst but medicinal at times. Soups that are medicinal really were not a hit in our home. I learned that a couple of my sisters would secretly pour this kind of soup into the toilet. I never knew about this when I was living at home. My sisters must have been pretty sneaky that I didn’t even know.
(Note: Mom taught me indirectly how to cook. Dad also contributed because he was a professional cook. I got his genes? When our parents go out in the weekends to play Mahjong. I was tasked with providing a meal for my sisters. I was also given a very limited amount of money to make our meal. I was given ten dollars. This meal would have to feed all six of us. To supplement I would have to make rice. Back then there was no such equipment call a rice cooker. At least we didn’t have one. So it was the old fashion way of cooking rice in a pot. My first couple of attempts resulted in burnt rice. The rice was uneatable because of the strong burnt taste. Once the rice cooking was conquered, I had to come up with the compliment to the rice. Some of my dishes did not go well with my sisters. I loved corned beef. So I made this dish. It was not a hit with my sisters.
My pride dish was bok choy. Mom would make it for dad. It was very plain. The dish consisted of bok choy, oil, salt, and garlic. Dad loved it and enjoyed the salt juice that was in the dish. This juiced mixed well with rice. I learned to love this dish as well so I asked mom to teach me. Mom was not much of a teacher. I learned by watching her cook this dish. After a few tries, I perfected this dish.)
The most visible show of our mom’s love was in her actions. She always remembered our birthdays. And when it was our birthday, she would cook the traditional chicken for us. And she still remembers what part of the chicken we liked. She would make sure we get that piece on our birthday.
After we all grew up and left home, mom continued to show her love. When we take her out to eat after her dialysis treatment, she would always insist on paying. And she would order all the dishes that she remembers we like. There was more food than one can eat.
Love doesn’t always come the way you expect it. Sometimes you have to look a little closer to for that love. Mom would frustrate us at times but in her beats a heart of love for us.