Long story short, my Christmas tree is still up and decorated in the living room waiting for my attention. Brian is in Saudi now and we are essentially apart us until June / September. He will visit us Friday this week for a few weeks before he moves permanently and I thought it would be funny to take off the Christmas decor and decorate with red hearts and white snowflakes to surprise him for a wintery valentines say tree. The time and effort of cutting all that paper into fancy shapes had stopped me though. Then a friend told me to ask at school to use the die cutter. For a week I have put off doing it and today I decided was the day. I gathered the paper and got permission to do it and was told to help myself to the work room area.
I took Jacob and a neighbor I was picking up to the room and as I opened the door I startled one if the teaching aides dressed in all white, obviously preparing for prayers. Sita is a wonderful, sweet woman I have bumped shoulders with for three years nearly daily. She gave me a warm smile and asked if I needed the room. I told her I could come back later and she invited me to enter as long as her prayers wouldn't bother me. I felt awkward like I was intruding but came in and got the two kids set down at the table in the very small room and instantly my mind was seized by the opportunity placed before me.
Jacob is a very shy little guy and anything he hasn't seen before really does frighten him. Here we were with Sita and the chance to ask simple Jacob sized questions about Muslim worship and prayer time. I quickly explained to Sita that Jacob was moving to Saudi Arabia so I wanted to have him understand what she was doing and told him that she was going to do her prayers now. She asked a question or two of me and him and proceeded with her prayers. While I began silently working the die cut machine and the children observed her prayer time ritual.
When she finished a few short minutes later the kids had been perfectly respectful and quiet which was a real surprise because those things are not what either of those two are known for. It was wonderful Jacob could see a friend doing the things he will be surrounded with in short order and I hope that it makes it seem just a little more normal to him knowing he has a friend that does the same thing five times a day in his very own school here in Singapore.