Daughter Number Six

Mshairfeh, Jerash, Jordan

From Baby Milak

I went to my friend Wijdan’s house in the village for the weekend, because she had a baby (#7) just before my disasterous trip to DC, and I brought back some baby clothes. Now, see if you can follow along: Wijdan’s brother-in-law’s mother-in-law was visiting for the weekend. Got that? I’d never met her before, so introductions were in order. Wijdan did the honors: “This is Maryah. She used to live in Mshairfeh. She’s my sixth daughter!”
Just to be contrary, I asked, “Sixth daughter? Or first?” I am older than all her children, after all….

From Baby Milak

Her new baby’s name is Milak. It means angel, but thus far she’s proven herself to be somewhat less than angelic. After I’d been there a few hours, Wijdan said to me, “Taqwa was such a quiet baby. She was so easy!” I remember. I met Taqwa when she was less than a month old, too. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was because, while Taqwa was a surprise baby, she was a pleasant surprise. Milak, I suspect, is an apology baby, and on an already tight family budget, hard to support.

From Baby Milak

Taqwa was also very unhappy about being usurped as the baby of the family. I’ve never seen her so withdrawn and uncommunicative, and she was frequently trying to squeeze herself into Mama’s lap beside or even underneath the new baby. It reminded me of the line in Berenstein Bears about how Mama’s lap was getting smaller and smaller…. It will be fun to watch Taqwa grow into her big sister role.

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