Monday, April 23, 2012

Seeing things differently now that my mom is around

I've been having a great time since my mom got here.  She's only here on a short visit; never wants to stay more than 2 weeks so she can get back to her lovely home on the lake.  I can understand that. I don't like being away from my own space very long.  But... I wish she was staying a lot longer.  I love having her around.  I don't realize how much I miss her until she's right next to me (although I spend a lot of time missing her anyways).

I also like having her around to see things through her perspective.  I try to include her in things that involve my friends.  I want her to get to know them - and them her.  It is important for others to know where  you come from; who your people are; who they have come to know without knowing the whole picture of who you really are.  I love that she has chosen to be friends with the people in my Kuwaiti life who I love.

And I love how I see the same picture in a different light.

On the positive side, she reinforces my belief in my dear friends and knows - as I do - that they are here to support me and care for me should I ever need them.

But with positive comes negative, doesn't it?  It isn't always good and sometimes people who you believe are there to support you sometimes disappoint....   When my mother first came to visit me - about 18 months after I moved here - she was invited to my Kuwaiti friends' family homes. We were busy constantly with invitations; We spent a long time with Kuwaiti friends' families,  and the kids, wives, husbands - the entire extended family.  For those friends who didn't have large homes/families, there were endless invitations out to dinner.  My mother was revered for being a mother; and that is a huge form of respect to me.  She noted that during those days, she was respected as an older person while out in public; people smiled and were courteous.  (Now people push past her as if she's too slow).  Those days have passed.  It is a different Kuwait.

Old Friends:  Kuwaiti friends who I have known for years and years are suddenly too busy to invite my mother for a meal while she is here.  Invitations to my dinners in my home in her honor are ignored or bypassed as if it was an everyday occurrence.  People who I know, know better.  I want to know what is happening to customs?  It makes me sad.    Is everything casual?  Does anyone know what "ayeb" means anymore?  I maintain friendships.  I treasure them.  I take it seriously.  Respect my family and you respect me.

New Friends:  Tonight I had dinner at the invitation of Special K and his family with our friends at his home in South Surra.  His mother cooked.  His dad and mom spoke to my mother at length.  I felt truly respected because they respected my mother so much.  Special K has been out of the country for 16 years and is Kuwaiti (maybe he remained "old Kuwaiti" while the pulse of the country's customs changed while he was away.)  The total length of time for the dinner was about 3 hours; and that 3 hours  meant so much to me because it was true Kuwaiti hospitality as I remember it; as I know it should be.  (Thanks, K, and your whole family.  You know how much I adore all of you.  You are dear, dear friends and thank you for making my mother happy.)

As my mom says, people change and life goes on.  Maybe your newer friends are better friends.  Maybe friendships do have an expiration date and God lets you know when it is time to move on.

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