When I was doing pre-degree, a classmate of mine who also stayed in the same area where we used to live came over for a visit. I introduced her to my mother and right in front of her my mom huffed, turned around and walked off. My friend lived in the poor area of the neighbourhood and Amma wasn’t happy that she was my friend and showed her displeasure without any thoughts about my feelings or my friend’s feelings. She was my friend because she was a really nice person and her family’s lack of wealth was not something I was concerned about. My friend never talked to me after that. ( And I never introduced any of my friends to my mother after that.. only one of my medical college classmates ever came to my house in the 5 years)
I had promised myself that I will never treat my children’s friends the same way my mother treated mine.
When Yaya was in grade 3, she met this girl and they were very close. The girl’s mother is a third generation Canadian and studied only up to 10th and believed that Canada was a state of US. In grade 3, the kids needed to do their genealogy as part of their school work and Yaya’s friend came to me for help because no one at her home could help her. We could only manage up to her grandparents because her family is a mix of Japanese, Irish, Swedish, Czech and other unknown nationalities. Her father himself doesn’t know if he is Czech or Slovakian and he introduce himself as a ‘redneck’.
However, if I ever needed any help. it was this family I would call first because they were the most honest, helpful people I have ever met. The father would go hunting and fishing every year would makes sure that I had enough meat and fish. He would even fillet the fish for me because he knew how much I hated doing it. They always took Yaya with them when they went camping.
Some time ago, Yaya’s friend went to an Indian restaurant somewhere in the interior and the owner of the restaurant came and thanked her because she was the first customer to have used her fingers to eat the food instead of using the fork and knife at his restaurant. She learned to eat rice using fingers because she spent most of her time at my house. If she wasn’t at her house, her family knew she would be at my house.
She came all the way from Canada to celebrate Yaya’s 17 th birthday. ( her mom worked three jobs to pay for her flight ticket)
Imagine if I had picked my children’s friends for them and told Yaya not to be friend with this girl..What a great loss that would have been..