We’ve been thinking a lot about parents these days.
It could be caused by the immense anticipation surrounding Jason’s extended family reunion in the mountains this upcoming weekend.
It could also be due to the fact that we logged 20+ hours on the road with my mom last weekend, driving through the windmilled plains of Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma with little else but iPhones and conversation to keep us company.
Or, it could be because we were able to spend some quality pool-and-pizza time with my dad during our two quick overnights in my hometown of Wichita — a welcome reprieve when we rarely turned on the television and opted instead for uninterrupted bonding and conversation around some deliciously grilled Margherita pies.
Finally, it could be a symptom of our attendance at the memorial of my grandfather and having to accept the reality that my parent’s parents are all gone.
It was during my grandfather’s memorial service when I found myself holding a timeline of my his life, beginning with the birth and meeting of his parents [my great-grandparents], Lilia and Emilio, and ending with his years of retirement. It was a surprising document to hold in my hands – the summary of one’s life – one’s accomplishments, vehicles, pets, moves, and vacations unfolding with each passing year.
What was even more surprising was the obvious impact it had on everyone present: his children, reacting to newly uncovered facets of his life and sharing their versions of the same family memories; his grandchildren, witnessing their parents absorb this loss and recognizing the reverberating effects one person can have on future generations [whether we really knew them or not]; and his great-grandchildren, adorably unaware of how lucky they will one day consider themselves to have overlapped in existence with their parents’ parents’ parents.
The entire experience made me infinitely aware of all we have to learn from our parents and their parents and even their parents. Yet for all of the knowledge to be garnered and life lessons to be taught through the generations, you never really know what kind of parent you will be until you become one.
Which is exactly what we’re about to do come October.
You interpreted that correctly: Jason and I are going to be parents.
It’s a bizarre reality — one we are still warming up to — which has put every other recent familial interaction into context and has kept us wondering what kind of parents we will actually be. [No more hypotheticals. This is reality, folks!]
Will we be hesitant or excited? Stressed or sure? Selfish or loving? Over-bearing or overly cautious? Scared to death or thrilled beyond belief? Or a weird yet wholly acceptable combination of all of the above?
We have no idea, but we hope beyond all hope we are the latter: an amalgamation of characteristics and emotions worthy of any first-time parent, all culminating into something that even our parents [now grandparents-to-be!] can be proud of.
After all, it’s a recipe passed down from them…
It should come as no surprise that we’ve taken to nicknaming our baby after food. For the first trimester, it was “Peanut” after the general shape and size of the baby at the time. This eventually gave way to “Little Tomato” after one of our favorite Pink Martini songs, which is what I sang to the baby almost every night while traveling through South America. Given the budding tomato vines in our garden and our recent obsession with this delicious Peanut Sauce, everything feels in harmony these days.
- ½ c. peanut butter
- 3 T. hot water
- 3 T. soy sauce
- ¼ c. rice vinegar
- ¼ c. hoisin
- 2 T. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Mix all ingredients with a whisk until smooth.
- Use as a dip for spring rolls or a marinade for chicken skewers. It’s also great tossed with noodles, green onions, crunchy vegetables, and grilled shrimp.