Friday, December 14, 2007

How Much I Owe My Mother

Written November 28, 2005:

My mother and I had been making dumplings together for the past hour. She would take the old wooden chopsticks, now smeared with the pork and vegetable mush, and pluck out a dollop of filling onto a dumpling wrapper before handing it to me. I would wet my finger and run it along the edge of the wrapper in a half-circle before pulling the two sides together and pinching the seal into a dainty crimp.

As we continued working, I felt the need to speak.

"Why don't you just stop talking to Yi-ma? You know how stressed she gets you, how bad it is for you heart."

She didn't even stop to look at me.

"Because we're family and you stick by family. That's what you do."

I crimped another dumpling shut.

"Even if they hurt you?"

"Even if they hurt you."

The dumplings tasted better that night.

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