He came into life under difficult circumstances. He is Saeeda’s son (name changed for privacy). Such a curious, funny, quick child. Since his birth, his mother, who is unmarried, drew the veil of secrecy around herself and her child in order to protect them both from scrutiny. With time however, she introduced him to her family as “the son of a woman who can’t take care of him”. The family just adores him. With time, many of them came to understand that he is in fact her son, By that time, they all were in love with him already, they were able to come to terms with it in a palatable way. The story is a still there “to save face” in front of others… neighbors, strangers.
It’s been almost two years since his birth, since that day when she was penniless and homeless and still weak from childbirth, and we were able to open our home to her for a few weeks. Things have gotten so much better. I have had the great pleasure of working closely with Saeeda over the last year in the context of our baking endeavor. Often times she had her son on her back, and when he was older, scampering about with the pots and pans. I can honestly say she is one of the best mother’s I’ve seen. She talks softly and reassuringly to her son, a soothing narrative of what they are doing together. She takes great care in preparing his special food, soups and baby bottles. She keeps him clean and well-dressed although she has very little money. She laughs at the 100 funny things he does, her own small rewards. Her eyes just shine when she looks at him. She doesn’t get impatient, she always gives him time. Being around them both is very soothing and joyful. Everything in her life has always come to her at great difficulty, even the circumstances around the birth of her son. But even the burden of being a single mother in Morocco is nothing compared to the love she has for him and the joy he has brought her. I can see that he is clearly her dearest treasure.