Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013


After more than a year long break from braids Meadow and I went to have her hair done yesterday. The enormously talented and extraordinarily hard working (Um, can you say aching fingers, shoulders, back and legs? Ouch!) woman who is beyond skilled at constructing perfect, tiny little cornrows atop my sugarplum's head is from Ghana. Her name is Mercy.

Historically speaking, Mercy and I have never had what you would call a flourishing social exchange. Truth be told, it's because I'm old and my hearing is suffering and her accent is thick so I could hardly understand a solitary word she said. Mostly, she was silent. And when she did speak, I politely smiled and nodded and crossed my fingers she would not ask me to respond further because I hadn't the slightest clue about what I was affirming. To me, every single thing she said warranted a resounding "yes, yes!" She must have found me the most agreeable person on the planet. {Rightly so! Right, daddy-o? Hello.....Bobby? Tap, tap, tap, are you there.....? Anyone.....?}

But yesterday something was different. Whether it was the months that passed between our last and current visits giving Mercy time to practice her English or my freshly Q tipped wax free ears, I can not be sure, but for some reason we downright chatted like real, true girlfriends. And I could comprehend *at least* every other word she spoke. Maybe even 2/3 of them. Which was fortunate, because what she had to say warmed my heart and delighted my mind.

While I sat in her small, sparsely decorated apartment and marveled at her skill, she told me how hard money and education and quality of life is to come by where she was raised. She shared that if she had not moved here, she would never have been able to manage making a financial go of it, nor would she be able to help her family back home.

Mercy lives what most of us would consider a very simple life in comparison to our own. Yet she, in no uncertain terms, said she feels rich. Because she is in America. Where people have access to work hard (which she does!) and obtain whatever they need. She finds it such a gift and wishes more of her family were able to live here as well. She figures us providing Meadow and Flint with food and a home and a family and educational opportunity is pretty much one of the best uses of our resources in terms of helping another human being. Then, they can go on to assist their loved ones in Ethiopia when they grow up, if they are so inclined. She assured me that although she can not speak for M&F's parents, she is certain they are glad their children have been given this chance for a bright future.

Can I tell you how pleasant that was to hear? So good. I needed some Mercy in my life.

Hers is a perspective to which I don't customarily have access. I know too few 1st generation immigrants! Though I do have a new friend from the Netherlands, which is super cool. {Hi, Karin!}If you are from another country and could enlighten me from your vantage point, would you like to hang out? I'll strain my brain to catch your drift, so I can soak up what you have to say. It would make me so happy.

The crew dining together on Saturday for Onyx's $30 to feed the family day.
Supper: (The boy really does love himself some salad. Though it has nothing to do with my vinaigrette since he eats it PLAIN! Whatever...) Oops! I didn't get a picture of the giant bowls of ice cream with cookies and bananas that topped off the day. After eating salad for dinner, he assumed we were entitled. He was right.
Meadow with her new hair. Could this child be the next (nicer) Naomi Campbell? I think so!
Thanksgiving feast, anyone?

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