I was really good at this game. I'd sit on the floor with my cousins and not make a peep, I was so focused that any intermittent celebrations would only interrupt my flow and how many fish I caught. I took the game seriously.
Mum was actually really good at fishing. Like, AH-mazing. I have this beautiful memory of mum, standing on a rock at the beach. She cast her line out and immediately caught a fish, it happened again and again. Her face beamed and lit up each time. I remember looking at her and thinking - that's my Mum!
That day, she caught 8 fish, and neither dad or the other men caught anything. That made mum and I laugh so hard.
I remember mum told me about when she was young, she grew up so poor that her family of 9 would share one tiny fish. Everyone had an assigned portion, head for grandma and grandpa, belly for the eldest siblings and tail for mum with the younger siblings. You would make it stretch by squishing a ball of sticky rice into it again and again to get the essence of fish with each mouthful.
So when my mum caught all that fish I knew that she was happy, not only because she kicked dads ass with her superior fishing skills. But that her hope for a better life for her children was true.
Thank you always Mama.