I realized some things
That's me and my son at the zoo in Algiers. It was the most pitiful zoo I have ever been too, but we still had a blast. Check Abdurrahman out in his "Algerie" tracksuit. I hear it's a must for every man/boy who travels to Algeria for the first time. I even saw natives with the dang suit on. I have to say he does look pretty darn cute.
So, In my almost 6 years of marriage I have never ever seen a childhood photo of my husband. He could have come out a fully grown man for all I knew. On my first day I made my sister in-law get out the photo albums. I saw hilarious 1960's-70's era photos of all sorts of family members that I have only talked to on the phone or seen in pictures. My mother in law was so beautiful in her wedding photos. I was even "lucky" enough to see pictures of all the male family members circumsicions. Why in hell did she show me that I will never know.
I realized a few things about my husband and I on this trip. Every aspect of our lives was different until we got married. Looking at the crazy, cute, young boy who my son looks so much like was very heartwarming. He was sitting in the bottom row of a class picture. He was squinting because the sun was in his eyes. I've have heard to many stories about school. I noticed his old but clean clothes. His shoes caught my attention. They definitely looked like they had been through better days. I then looked around the apartment I sat in...4 rooms, 2 bathroms, a kitchen, balconies galore, and a washroom(for making wuduu and cleaning clothes). I noticed that there were 2 doors at the entrance. I learned that my in-laws had purchase the apartment next door in 1990. They tore down the wall inbetween and doubled the size of their home. I had to think about that really well. Nine children and two adults lived in a one bedroom apartment for close to 20 years. They slept in a row on a mattress in the the living room.
I almost felt guilty for living my suburban life in America. I went to private school, had the latest and greatest clothes and shoes, a brand new car when I was 15, and my own room in a 4 bedroom house. I knew we had more than others, but I don't always realize how much. While I swam in the pool in our backyard, seven brothers were sharing one bicyclye. It makes you very appreciative when you see how others have lived. I'm amazed that even they can look at others and say Alhamdulillah that Allah blessed them with so much.
What they didnt have in money, they sure made up for with love. They eat dinner together every day. I blamed my in-laws for a lot of things about my husband, but I have realized that they(like me) were just doing the best that they knew how to do. They took a difficult situation and made the best of it. I need to remind myself that although difficult, my situation could be much worse and for that I am THANKFUL.