For dinner Phillip and I are having bulgogi over greens with sesame oil/soy sauce/rice vinegar vinaigrette and I am eating mine with chopsticks. (It tastes better that way.) Today I was thinking about how I basically refused to eat Asian food until I was 20ish, and then only because I was shamed into it, and I weep for all the excellent and not-worried-about-gaining-weight eating I could have done in my youth. I am still a finicky eater, but I have come a long long way.
A few months ago I asked my MIL to help me make fried rice because I couldn't get mine to look and taste like hers. I watched and realized the only difference between my fried rice and hers was that I was not my MIL. I swear, everything else was the same, but her fried rice was still better. We were talking about this the other day and it morphed into my MIL volunteering to make dinner for Emma's family birthday party. She will buy everything, bring it to my house, and cook it in front of me and maybe, one day, I'll be able to make a stir fried beef I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve to guests.
I was asking Jack what the other kids at school eat for lunch, trying to get a run down of how many eat hot lunch and how many bring lunch from home. But what he told me is, "Aika brings seaweed!" Now HE wants to bring seaweed for lunch. I looked in the freezer where we used to have a big packet of nori, but Phillip had eaten it.
As far as I can tell, there are only two white kids in Jack's class of eighteen. (I think two or three more are half, like Jack.) This is fascinating to me. Sometimes I catch myself noticing diversity "too much". Like maybe I shouldn't be so AWARE of the differences, and all the different languages I hear in the hallway at kindergarten pick up, all the different clothing - today I saw an honest to God burqa. If I were a truly enlightened and liberal individual I wouldn't notice at all and I certainly wouldn't make NOTE of it on my BLOG.
Except I sort of think that's a load of you know what. I think it's good to notice differences, and maybe it's the flaming Seattle in me, but I'm happy Jack is around so many kids who aren't like him. I'm as happy about this as I am about the fact that we are friends with so many white/Asian families and he's always around kids like him.
No one on either side of the family took issue with me (white) marrying Phillip (Chinese). It's never been the slightest thing. But there are so many differences, and so many ways that Phillip and I have become accustomed to the other side that it catches us off guard when our own family doesn't 'get' something. Like Phillip and I made salmon with an Asian marinade for dinner at my parents' house this weekend, and my mother was wondering what to serve with it and I said, "Rice", like, "Duh" and my mom was all, "RICE! OH!"
Some of my friends' half kids are starting to notice that they are Half Something and Half Something Else and other kids are Not. It's not an ISSUE, just something they're starting to SEE. Jack hasn't said anything yet. He still talks a lot about Chinese "things" - he and Molly will both announce that something is Chinese (cars, food, hairstyles, I think anything they associate with their grandparents). Sometimes they will pretend to speak Chinese. They know that Daddy is Chinese. That's about it, though. I wonder if kindergarten, or just being in school from 8:45 to 3 every day, will change that.
Hmm. This appears to be one of those blog posts where I have no point and nothing to say, and yet I persist in writing. I think I will go eat more.