Thursday, July 29, 2010

Airport Sightings

The boys and I went to the airport this morning to pick up Dave's best friend, Ty.

We were a few minutes early and we got to see two soldiers in desert camo get their tearful, squealing, "Welcome Home" mugging from their girlfriends and their families. It was totally making me tear up seeing the sheer joy and relief on the faces of their loved ones.

We also got to see a woman in a full burka. She was with her family and the 4 year old little girl with them wore a headscarf and the 2 year old little girl with them had her head uncovered. When T saw the woman in the black burka with only her eyes and hands showing he turned to me and asked, "Is she a ninja?" When I got done laughing, I explained that her religion requires her to wear clothes so that nothing of her body can be seen. He said, "Hmm, that's cool." (which is what he says when he means, "How interesting."). I said, "No, T, it's really not cool at all. It's very repressive. But everyone is different and that's just how they have chosen to live so it works for them."

And who knows? Maybe underneath those robes, she really is a ninja!

What was evident was her delight in her daughters. The little one started to wander off and the mom held out her hand and called her back and you could see the mom's eyes light up at the sight of her smallest child! Even with nothing else showing, you could tell she was smiling.

Seeing Ninjas, Ruth!


Yarnhog said...

There is a large, low-income housing development across the street from our elementary school. Many of the residents are recent immigrants, and several of the moms are from Pakistan and wear full burkas. I became friends with one of them and she seemed pretty normal, but her relationship with her husband was utterly foreign to me.

She had two kids when I met her and didn't want any more, but she continued to have one a year at her husband's insistence. Her husband's family didn't want the kids to go to school, so no one would help her get them there and she would end up hauling four kids, three of them not yet school aged, in a single stroller from the far end of the complex every morning.

She didn't have a driver's license so she couldn't drive them. I offered to teach her to drive and she said she would have to get her husband's permission and, of course, I would have to get mine's permission as well! We were both astounded, I think. I told her, as gently as possible, that I didn't need my husband's permission and he would be shocked if I asked him.

Sorry--long comment, but this one struck a nerve!

k said...

Okay, and I'm going to be long-winded too.
It's that whole learning to read people's expressions, and how women are supposed to be so much better at it (or am I making that up?). But how do little kids learn to read expressions when they can only see part of their mom's face? And I know at home the women don't have to wear the burka, but still?

One lifetime is not enough.

Heide said...

There are some mornings when I wish I had a Burka to throw on before heading out the door. Although, mine would be worn by choice to cover up bad hair, no makeup and my ratty sweats. The "by Choice" thing is a big issue. I have three daughters and I'll be damned if anyone is going to hold them back in anyway while I have a breath in my body. I would seriously go "Ninja" on their arses.