Well, we got some snow last night. It seemed to stick everywhere but the streets, so this morning the girls gulped down their cereal, then donned their snow boots. Esther said, "Most kids only wear a coat, not all this stuff..." (referring to the hat/snow glove/boots/scarf ensemble). I told her I had recently read in the Weekly News from school that Miss Morton (elementary principal http://brendayaziyor.wordpress.com/ ) wanted ALL elementary students to wear a full winter ensemble (never mind that I am the ghost writer for the school's Weekly News). Off we went. Yes, we. With Ross gone, I do something daring, something I might be arrested for if I lived in the West. I leave my 3.5 year old and 4 month old home alone for the 5 minutes it takes me to walk the school girls across the big street between our house and the school. I would most likely not do this if I lived in America, but like so many things, it's different here. I share an apartment building with 8 wonderful neighbors (and 1 grumpy one) who would do anything to help me. Crimes against children are so rare here, for Allah would not forgive that. I leave with strict orders not to pick up Benaiah if he cries and not to answer the door, then we make our mad dash out.
When I returned home, my across-the-hall neighbor spotted me. She asked me what I was doing. I told her. She chided me for not leaving the kids at her house while I went and told me to do so for the rest of the week. Then she told me to come have tea later. About a 1/2 hour later, she rang my doorbell and we went over.
Spread in front of me on her table were olives, strong goat cheese, yellow hard cheese, salty and strong string cheese, and cream cheese spread. (Do you see the theme going on here?) She stood over the skillet making me a crepe. Now, I'd already had breakfast at home. What was I to do? Tell her I'd already eaten? Hobbits eat 2 breakfasts, but I cannot. I am sure Weight Watchers would have recommended I refuse. (I can hear them now, "No is polite. No thank you is even more polite.") But this was cultural. She had made me a hot breakfast. So, I sat down, sipped my tea, and began to work on the crepe, thinking, "Please God. Don't let this count on my fat grams for the day. I don't even want to eat it, but I have to." Shouldn't fat grams only count if we really wanted to eat it? Shouldn't it not count if we are eating it only to show love to our neighbor? I got the crepe down. You know what happened next. She put another on my plate. I said, "Oh me, I am so full." (using the word for 'full' that refers to when you want a full tank of gasoline...to which she chuckled) Then she replied, "If you don't eat it, who else is here to eat it?" I tried. I really tried. Then I asked if I could take it home and finish it for lunch. That worked.
We chatted about my grandmother, who may be in her last days. We chatted about Benaiah, who goes over to her house for about an hour each night, gets loved on, then comes home and promptly falls asleep from all the excitement. We talked about how she had watched old videos of her kids and how little they used to be. We drank tea. It was a nice visit, and the second crepe came home with me.