Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The view on Saturdays

It was a pleasant day, this past Saturday - weather-wise. I couldn't see Jordan anymore from my window like I can during wintertime but the view is lovely nevertheless. I’m doing what I usually do on a Saturday morning, which is read the Haaretz magazine cover-to-cover, laughing at Sayed Kashua’s life experiences and wishing he was my friend, but his article is not there this weekend. But I’m starting a whole lot later than usual. I had a sleepless night last night. My cellphone rang at 2 am and it was probably for one of my kids who make phone calls from my cell when I’m not looking. And when I’m sleeping, I’m not usually looking. Not being able to fall back asleep, I watched one of the movies I downloaded, “A Night At the Museum” and mid-movie (even though I enjoyed this comedy), I felt my eyes closing… Fortunately, I had the luxury of sleeping in until 10:45 am. A true blessing for my tired and weary soul.
I wasn’t supposed to be tossing and turning and watching movies or reading Haaretz this weekend. I was supposed to be in Nazareth for a compassionate listening workshop with Arabs and Jews - these things feed my soul - but my pregnant daughter had early contractions and was under observation at Hadassah Ein Karem hospital. I would be a horrible mother if I just buzzed off up North to feed my soul and not care about hers. I sat in her hospital room eating her mother-in-law’s delicious food that her hubby brought for her. While I was licking my plate clean of stuffed grape leaves, kubbeh and fried cauliflower (the family is Tunisian), her mum-in-law walks in and gives me a momentarily dirty look. I automatically read read her mind which said “What the fuck are you doing eating the food I gave my son and daughter-in-law for the weekend so that they don’t have to eat that horrible hospital food”. The look lasted a split second, but I caught it and read it.
But getting back to this morning. My second oldest daughter was making us all a breakfast of shakshouka. And my 17 year old bounces in this morning with a friend, ready to go to the Dead Sea. It’s only 30 minutes from where we live.
“Whose driving you?” I asked, hoping she wasn’t planning to hitchhike and hoping she’ll be eating some breakfast before going. She doesn’t.
“My friend from work. He’s an Arab.” I don’t know why she has to announce his heritage. If the driver was Jewish, she wouldn’t be telling me “My friend from work. He’s an Israeli Jew”. Maybe she wants to see/hear my reaction? She knows it won’t be negative.
I say to her -”Why doesn’t he come in? It’s not nice to leave him in the car while you get ready.” Getting ready for teenage girls may take “a while.” He is driving a Mazda 6. Not too shabby.
My daughter turns to her girlfriend and tells her “See, my mother doesn’t mind.” Perhaps the girlfriend’s mother would mind her daughter being driven around by an Arab friend. Maybe that’s why this guy was reluctant to come into our home. So I went up to meet him and tell him he’s welcome in our home. He looked like a nice guy, with manners. And when they left, I even felt a bit sorry for him, knowing that my daughter may take HIM for a ride, perhpas having him pay for her cigarettes and food and entrance fee, if there is any.

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