Some aspects of living in a foreign country scandalize Hannah and Margaret, while others roll right off them. This is one of my goals for the year: to show my sheltered children a wider world. St. Andrew’s is an amazing place to grow up — safe, beautiful, friendly, and in some ways diverse — but it’s a bubble. This year I want to show my girls how many ways there are to live in the world.
So far, Hannah and Margaret notice and don’t like: smokers, motorcyclists (especially when they ride on the sidewalk), the so-far indecipherable Hebrew and Arabic alphabets, and stray cats. (Actually, if you know our neighbor in Middletown, that last item should not be so shocking).
I was expecting a lot more questions and commentary about religious dress. Our neighborhood is almost exclusively Jewish but international and multi-ethnic, with many different forms of observance and corresponding ‘looks.’ So far, nothing except for Margaret bringing me a tea towel and asking me to sew her a kippa. Nor do the girls register the presence of armed soliders. I’m trying to not lead them, just answer questions as they come.