Friday, August 22
We sat in the sun, watching our children play happily together on the beach.
"Do you think they'll always be friends?" I wondered aloud, remembering how the two children had become almost inseperable since they started playgroup three years ago.
The mother shot me a candid look and bent down to scoop up some pebbles, which she jiggled around in her hands.
" Well, to tell you the truth Nicki, I don't really know," she said, avoiding my eyes. "I think you made a grave mistake in not baptizing Skye as a Catholic."
I stiffened and turned to look at her to see if she was joking or being serious. Young, pretty, sociable and a bit of a gossip, she was waiting for my reaction with serious eyes.
"What do you mean a mistake?" I said carefully.
"Well, I can understand that you were brought up differently from us but it's not fair on your child. She won't fit in with the other children here, she'll be left out and will...well, just be different."
"Oh," I said, a bit lost for words, having expected to have this conversation at some point, but with some old Aunt or someone, not with a young mother. I had presumed that nowadays people here were more open to differences and 'foreign' ways, there being at leasts 100 foreigners living in the town.
I asked the mother if she had to go and live in Israel, for example, whether she would bring her children up Jewish so that they fitted in with the other children there. Of course she was shocked at the idea, but couldnt see it as a comparison.
"But this is here!Your child won't be the same as the others!"
At that point I decided it was best to leave.
at 10:37 AM