21 March 2008

For the sake of the children?

I have had another thought about marriage - from my friend staying in her broken marriage. Her culture expects that of her, gives her no credit for what she is doing for her child and for her own integrity. She is certain that she is doing the right thing, regardless of what I think I might do in her position of what my own society says is right (the individual protected rather than the family unit)... She is not a figure of pity to me. I don't look at her and see someone trapped by her culture and her own desires for her child. I see strength, someone who is so determined to do right that the cost doesn't occur to her.

More than that, I think her culture and mine have a lot in common on this. If she were to leave, she would be outcast and openly criticised. Perhaps we don't go so far in the western world but in our own way we take the same path. Think of it this way, if leaving (for her) is criticised, shouldn't staying be honoured?

Shouldn't people gather around and support her, tell her that she is not un-noticed and that she should be celebrated for her strength and conviction? Do we, as human beings, care so much for goodness as we do for spotting other people's faults? Even thinking of my children, it's easier to think of things that bug me than things I specifically want to celebrate. What a crazy way of looking at people.

We have spent today preparing for our early celebration of Passover. Cleaning, preparing, cooking. Jenna has helped - volunteering for jobs she normally hates. We are really feeling festive! Emma and Chris arrive later, though I'm a little worried I'm not going to be able to join in as much as I want to. I'm feeling so ill, and I remember miserably spending one Passover lying down in the living room while everyone else ate... I'm just not cut out for pregnancy.

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