Tempeh and Broccoli in Peanut Sauce

WaterAs my little person and I were walking into the gym yesterday, I heard an older man behind us, chuckling. Drawing nearer, he amusedly shook his head and said, “she sure is a talker, isn’t she?”  Yes, yes she is.

My angel girl is as sweet as she is feisty. I love the intensity with which she attacks life.  As many times as I have to force myself to unearth yet another ounce of patience when she insists on doing EVERYTHING herself, I know that I am blessed to have a kind, not-afraid-to-take-risks daughter.

broccoliI love that when she slips and falls on a more complex part of a playscape, she is back at it after a quick comforting hug and kiss. Pushing away from me, she’ll run back to the place she fell and slowly tackle the challenge again.  The second time around, she proceeds with more caution, but with surer feet. I’ll step back, hands clasped under my chin, anxiously holding my breath, praying for her safety. When she succeeds, the elation on her face is indescribable and the joy in my heart explodes.

TempehMy little person loves the water as well.  She throws her whole body into the water and calls it “diving.”  It’s as cute as it is nerve-racking, to watch this energetic bundle whole heartedly drown herself.  Until a week ago, she would hold her breath, kick her legs and arms, and just sink. I’d let her go a couple of seconds before fishing her back out, all grins and giggles, shrieking “mommy did you see me dive?!”  I kept thinking that after a while, she would eventually gain some buoyancy, but finally wised up and registered for swim lessons at the gym.

Before her first lesson, I explained that I wasn’t going to be in the water with her this time, but that she was going to practice swimming with a nice swim teacher.  She looked a little unsure of what was about to happen, so I asked her if she was okay.  Very solemnly, she held up two fingers and informed me that she was going to be two things, brave and scared. I could have eaten her alive with kisses right then and there.

mixed veggiesOne swim lesson later, and some spring break pool time with her aunt, and the little one was swimming. No more sinking!  Today at her swim lesson, she swam her brave heart out.  After her lesson, she ran up to me, a mischievous twinkle in her eye.  I had observed the entire lesson from the other side of the pool, and knew why she was so excited.  After congratulating her, I asked if she had some trouble listening to the teacher about waiting for her turn.  Her teacher laughed and said it was fine, while my love jumped up and down, waving her hands in the air, shouting, “I can swim by myself mommy! I dive when the teacher’s helping that other little boy!” We’ve conquered some things, but our listening skills are clearly a work in progress.

dinnerTo replenish our energy, we made spicy tempeh and broccoli in peanut sauce.  We love peanut butter, so it was a surefire hit.  I didn’t have time to make brown rice, and opted to serve it over couscous instead. I also toned down the chili sauce, but added a couple of extra dashes to my servings, yes servings, after it was cooked.

As my love said her bedtime prayers tonight, she thanked God for her friends, her toys, and her “diving.” I thanked God for the miracle that she is, and that we survived to swim another day.

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