September 16, 2010

Something Else . . .

Look what I saw on Hamra last weekend.
I was making pictures of these three ladies walking towards me wearing white uniforms, when suddenly, one of them ran across the street toward my daughter, and . . . .

Isn’t that sweet? We ran into our old housekeeper, Cecile. She was my daughter’s favorite. Well, actually, Mariza was, but when Mariza left for Miami, and Cecile took her place, Cecile became her favorite. I still know the names of all the housekeepers that ever worked for us. There was Roula, an Egyptian with a mean eye, whose husband ran off with another woman. Mali, from Sri Lanka, whose husband was handicapped, and whom I never heard from again after the tsunami on Christmas Day. We had Sounita, whose husband drank all her money away, and Sindra, whose daughter died while she lived here, and she left early, devastated. Mariza, who was a success story, because she ended up owning her own business and house in Miami Beach. And Cecile, who decided she wanted to come back, but then Miriam had already taken her place. Miriam, who leaves 3 children behind while she’s working here.

What sad stories these ladies share. And how warm they are with our children. Something you should appreciate, I think.


Marillionlb said...

I do agree with you. My son cried his heart out when Sauma left and six years later same story when Jovelyn had to go.

Danielle said...

You capture some pretty special moments. This is beautiful..Our house keeper in Miami has been with us for 13 years..she is part of our family..Don't know what we would do if she ever had to go!

I'm also glad to hear that you got to know these women, after all they worked in your house..I know too many people who have live in maids, but know nothing about them..their lives, their family, their is such a shame..

Anonymous said...

That is so precious!!!! I still remember my Sara from Sri Lanka from when I was a kid. I loved her.
So sorry about Mali... I hope she is ok.

angie nader said...

what beautiful and random photographs!
its nice you got the reuinion on film

Anonymous said...

My apologies even though I did not start writing, Lebanese women are definitely good mothers, but in their own way.

In my visit during the summer vacation, I have noticed that I had an extremely small chance to socialize with other mothers over there, wherever I went accompanied by my daughters, I had to spend time socializing with the housekeepers because Mama's where no way to be seen or just sitting somewhere with friends where children could not disturb them, and if they do, for whatever reason, it will of course be the housekeepers fault because she's not paying enough attention or amusing the kids.

What annoyed me the most, when I came across a mother with her child, I only heard her complaining about that kid without any positive remarks, and of course winning about how tired they are, while the housekeeper is carrying the groceries in one hand, the child in the other, and the winning mother carrying her beautiful bag in one hand and her cell phone in the other.

I would love to see those Lebanese mothers sent out to a boot camp, for instance to the Netherlands, where mothers, except for the only “outrageously expensive” day care, they are 24/7 with no other interference with their children, occasionally there is a nanny “that would ask for 10EUR an hour) or a grandparent (if lucky enough that they live nearby) who could help out when needed, and yet are grateful for each moment they got to spend with their kids after a long day or week at work.

I could go on and on about what I call the Lebanese Motherhood Syndrome (LMS), but I won’t, my sisters, my friends, they all have the LMS, I love them so deeply but I refuse to tolerate their behavior.

I am glad for those housekeepers working at Lebanon, they are saving their own families, and they are needed in a country where for example the sick and the elderly needs their presence, but as everything else in that country, it all must be over the top, over the limit and over morality.