JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

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May 5th, 2004 · No Comments

If I say the word “dumplings”, I’m referring to the food, Chinese style wrappers filled with meat, or I’m using it as an affectionate term for one of my daughters. But recently the word “dumpling” has a new association in my mind…

When ABC televised the 2004 World Figure Skating Championships, they included a profile of the champion Chinese pair skaters Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, describing their childhood homes and families. Shen Xue‘s father would take her on his bicycle to ice skating practice (outside!) very early in the morning. At lunchtime he could afford to buy only one portion of dumplings, so he hoped his young daughter would leave a little leftover for him to eat. But she would eat them all.

The story of the father, daughter and dumplings has stayed in my mind. I’ve thought about it – and we’ve even joked about it this week while we watched our own daughters devour won-ton. But I’m here in my warm kitchen with all the won-ton I could want. I think of that father standing out in the cold, hungry, sacrificing so his daughter could skate, bringing her back and forth on his bicycle. I think of what he has that I lack.

Tags: motherhood