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Food for Thought: Three Meals A Year

Joined: 11/20/2014
Posts: 1
I distinctly remember the morning of November 15th when I was five: my mother suggested that I help her cook a traditional Korean soup with dough flakes called “Sujebi” for my father’s birthday. Because my mom and dad both spent their days working, I rarely had the opportunity to sit and spend time with them. My mother and I covered the dining room floor with sheets of newspaper, and after she plopped a pile of dough between us, we started to create shapes. Remembering the different types of animals my father would draw for me before I went to bed each night, I created a dog, elephant, and snake. Meanwhile, my mother expressed her appreciation and love for my father by creating small hearts out of the dough.

I could tell from the expression on my mother’s face while waiting for my father’s arrival around 7 p.m. that she, too, was excited to eat dinner as a family, for the presence of all three of us for a shared meal was a blessing. When my father came home, with his tie loosened and his wrinkled dress shirt sleeves rolled up, his face immediately lightened at the sight of my mother and me waiting by the dining room table with a warm bowl of “Sujebi” and a cake illuminated by candles. I was shocked to catch a glimpse of tears under his eyes, which I had never seen before - often he came home with a tired, worn out expression after a long day of work, but never such emotion.

Ever since we successfully celebrated my father’s birthday, we continued this unique tradition of pairing up to cook for the third member of the family. Each May, I am always excited as the week of my birthday approaches, and like the young boy I was twelve years ago, still count down until my birthday in anticipation of another incredible surprise by my parents and a meal spent all together.

While every year is special, my most memorable experience was on my 12th birthday, coincidentally also my middle school graduation, when my parents spent the whole day preparing steak with asparagus and a crab dish. Initially confused about my mother’s insistence that I spend an entire day at my friend’s house--which she had been reluctant to allow on other occasions--I later realized her true motives and was touched by the effort she and my father had put into my celebratory meal.

Though I am a graduating senior, I know I will continue to visit my parents to carry on the tradition that has held our family together for years.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Food for Thought essay being chosen as 1 of the 11 essays in the running for 1st place for our November 2014 teen writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment. We had almost 200 essays submitted for November’s contest.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field.

We will post all winning essay results by December 31st. You can check this page for the results after December 31st:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2014 11:30:46 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Food for Thought essay being selected as one of our Teen Essay runners up for November 2014.

To view all the results of our November 2014 contest, please check our winners page on or after December 31st:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:01:46 PM
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