For Daughter #1, time just doesn't go fast enough. She always asks how old she is (in years and months), how long until her next birthday, how many days until Christmas, how many days until she can have a playdate. For her, time is about rushing through to the next moment to get to the next event. Time is not a cherished thing, but rather something to get through. Most days, I think like that as well. Time is about the schedule, squeezing enough hours in, planning the next meal, the next lesson, the next dinner. But today, in that split second of seeing my baby grow into a first grader, time became something different; time was precious and fleeting and oh so quickly gone. I found myself in my mind wanting to slow down the events, wanting to move in slow motion as a I reached to grab Daughter and whisper to her, "Just be in my arms a little longer. Be my baby a little longer. Don't hurry to grow up and leave me. You don't need all the answers just yet." But she skipped to school, with a spring in her skip, faster than usual and confidently walked through the doors of first grade and didn't even look back to see where I was. She was there. Ready. Growing up.
When I picked her up after her first day, I reached for her hand and was relieved to see that it was still smaller than mine. My hand was still bigger than hers and I could enfold her smaller hand into my own and fully enclose it within my grasp. She hadn't grown up so much that her hand no longer could hide in mine. I was also relieved to discover that she still let me hold it and together we walked to the car, as she chattered on about the events of her day, on how first grade was so much different than kindergarten, on how she did her math sheets faster than anyone else, and how she made a new friend.
It was on our walk to the car that she asked me to make her fish for dinner. Her favorite thing to eat is fish, so I readily acquiesced as it is hard not to when you're overflowing with so many mixed emotions. If she had asked me for an ice cream sundae with two scoops of hot fudge on top, I might have even allowed that, my emotions were so jumbled up. Thankfully it was fish, and even more thankfully, I had some in my freezer ready to go.
This is the fish I had in my freezer. (Thanks Mom-in-law!) It is a partially dried sea trout (민어).
This is what it looked like inside. The fish has been sliced down the middle and butterflied to make for a wonderful roasting surface. I took one look and decided it would be great for some oven roasted fish. (I don't like frying fish.)
Korean Roasted Dried Sea Trout (구운 민어)
1 butterflied sea trout
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Set the oven rack as close to heat as possible. Preheat oven to broil, to get it really nice and hot. Line a cookie sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil and place fish onto the pan. Rub the entire surface with the sesame oil. Once oven is preheated, place fish into oven, as close to heat as possible. Cook until fish is golden brown, anywhere between 10-15 minutes.
Little fingers eager to eat fish. Note the lovely golden brown color. (of fish not finger.)