Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shopping in my mother's closet

There is massive "summer cleaning" happening at my parents' place in Ottawa. Left with a huge pile of stuff to store/get rid of from my sister's house now that she is in Dubai, we, or rather they, are going through everything and trying to get rid of what can be gotten rid of to make space for new storage. My instant coffee supply has been instantly replenished. I also now have new scarves (fabulous, I might add), a new skirt, and a new pair of pants, courtesy of some boxes and my mother's closet. I talk to my Little Angela on the phone every two or three days. She tells me every time, as if I don't already know, "Khalto Nonno, I'm in the Emirates." Sometimes, her voice is excited when she says this, other times, it's tinged with sadness. It's hard for a two-year old to understand moving across the world. Exhibit A: a conversation that took place with her mother a couple of days ago (translated from Arabic to English for your benefit below):
"Mama, I want to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house."
"We can't sweetie. They're in Ottawa. It's too far away."
"No it's not. It's close." A pause. "Sacramento's far."
Sacramento is where my other little angels and angela live, with my eldest sister. Everything is relative.
Speaking of little angels, the last few months I've been savouring every last moment with them before they left when I came to Ottawa, but now I focus on some of the big angels in my life. My parents really, truly are angelic. They're brave, they're generous, they're giving, they're impossibly hardworking, they're not tireless, but they don't quit a moment before their bodies just can't take it anymore from pure exhaustion. They are such beautiful, beautiful people, and while it can be tiring to get up at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesdays to catch my bus, and while I miss M insanely for those 2.5 days we're in different cities, this is an atypical kind of blessing I have, to spend such long moments alone together with my parents as a grown woman, to have the great conversations we have so often, to find myself shopping in my mother's closet, kissing my father's cheeks after sunset prayer, eating leftovers together. To bond.

6 comments:

VioletSky said...

What a lovely tribute to your family.

noha said...

It's really been hitting me a lot lately how huge of a blessing it is to have a loving, tight-knit family. When I was little, it was definitely something I took for granted and assumed everyone had. Not true.

citizen of the world said...

That's beautiful. You sound blessed with a good family.

xup said...

It’s crazy how in love you are with your family. How lucky for you. How much better the world would be if everyone had this kind of bond with their relatives. Can you imagine

Big Brother said...

I saw your comment on my blog and wandered by to say hello. You're lucky to have such a loving family. Mrs. BB and I are also a two city couple and it is not always easy, so we make each minute count when we are together. Thank goodness that Ottawa and Montreal are not too far apart. ;o)

noha said...

COTW, thanks. I really do feel incredibly blessed for having them.
XUP, actually, I do think about how great it would be if everyone had the kind of bond we had. My parents are actually marriage and parenting counselors in their "second jobs" as opposed to the ones they got educated for and worked formally in for a long time, and people often tell them they can't believe how tight we are as a family. I can't imagine being otherwise.
BB, nice to have you over! It's true about Montreal and Ottawa. I can't imagine that the commuting thing would have worked for me the way it does if we were in two cities much further apart. As it is, from all the commuting stories, mine is the most ideal I've come across: close cities, ability to sleep on the bus, work from home two days a week so we see each other on more than just weekends, and get to spend time with my awesome family and sometimes see old friends when I am in Ottawa.