I got a friendly reminder from Facebook to celebrate eight years of my friendship with my daughter. She was turning eight very soon. A deep sense of loss sunk in. Has it been that long since I have worked, written, or done the things I’ve wanted to do in my life? How did my little five-pound baby turn eight? How fast did the time pass? I found myself in a state of loss.
For a couple of weeks, I felt grief. I was no longer that smart woman who had a job nor felt accomplished in any measure. I was this 43-year-old woman, in an apron, managing kids and home, balancing family & politics, worrying about everything I could worry about. I am a mother of two beautiful girls. Married to a good man. Have a loving family with some crazies in it – like all families do. Have loyal friends.
If you looked at me from the other side of the fence, I have a perfect life. In some sense. But it’s not. For a few days, I was bitter.
Whenever my soon-to-be eight years old would demand something, I would remind my daughter that she is a big girl now. “You don’t need me anymore. You can do this and that by yourself.” One day when I reminded her of “big” girl responsibilities, she replied, “You are right, I can do most things, but I still need you.” In anger, I replied, “No, you don’t.” I saw tears roll down her cheeks. I forgot my own loss. I embraced her right away.
Without thinking, I found myself saying this. Honey, I need you too. I am sorry. I am feeling lost.
She replied. Why? Where were you going? Seriously, where was I going?
The blessing in being a mother of young children is you don’t have the luxury to wallow in yourself. They force you to snap out of whatever funk you are in. They force you to face life. So, where was I going? Where do I want to go? After a few days of mulling over, some quiet meditation and affirmation from very close friends, I realized something. True love means losing yourself and anchoring to the source that gives you the strength to love. Thus I write. I cook. I share. Humbly. To all the moms, dads and caretakers who have found true love but lost yourself here are some suggestions.
Do something personal or profound for yourself every day
Pray. Talk to the higher source.
Sit in silence.
Cook with or for people you love
Eat. I opt for something fancy to eat.
For my daughter’s birthday, she requested Momos. So we sat together and made momos as I recounted funny stories about her when she was a baby. Her first words. Her first step. Her first birthday party. She loved it. She loves to wrap her own dumplings. It’s a great bring-the-family-together-meal. As I sat there wrapping dumplings with her, I rediscovered my purpose and myself again. It’s my true love. My girls.
How do you re-center yourself when you feel lost? Please share your thoughts. I know I will experience this again. A sense of loss every time my daughter turns a year older. I will return to making momos with her and remember my blessed time. Celebrate her growth. Celebrate my adventures.
Momos are Nepal’s national food. It is also street food. It is also many Nepali’s go-to foods for a lazy Saturday or a special day. I can eat momos at any time of the day. There are many versions of momos or dumplings. Each culture has a unique recipe or sauce.
When I need a pick me up, I head towards momos. It is one of my favorite foods. If you live in the Cambridge/Sommerville area, please go to Tasty Momo. It is so tasty you will revisit that place without a doubt. Like me, if you don’t live in Boston, you will have to make your own. (see below for recipe)
Recipe for Momos
There are plenty of how-to videos on Youtube for momos. So here’s my favorite pick. I use fresh ground pork from the farm instead of chicken. I also make different kinds of momos, such as chocolate and vegetables. For chocolate momos, I add vanilla and coconut. For vegetable momos, I add tofu. It gives a very soft texture and mixes the vegetables well. I also add freshly rendered lard. I don’t use MSG.