All of Alice’s and Goody Two Shoe’s six kids came into this world by way of Jerusalem, several from the same hospital. Alice’s two Israeli girls and Goody Two Shoe’s four Palestinian Israeli boys may have even been birthed by the same midwife. However, they have very different natures, cultures, and have had different experiences.
Alice: My kids were girly-girls from the beginning. At a year old, my daughter would kick until I put a dress on her. Our sparkles, stamp kits, bangles and beads filled plastic drawers and we would use them for a craft daily. Grandma and Grandpa still have shelves full of birthday gifts, designed and executed by two little ladies with an artistic trait that they loved expressing. It’s not so different now that they’re teens. We always make birthday presents rather than buy them; and we still have a drawer of crayons that have seen better days.
All their childhood, the girls hated the beach. The sand stuck to them and they endured the beach just because Mommy loves it. They would stay in the water for only half an hour at the most and were scared of the waves.They only liked swimming in the pool. That changed when they became teens, after realizing their friends love the waves and swimming and talking in the water. Now, they have figured out how to get to the beach without me. Ah well....
Goody Two Shoes: In contrast, my boys hated anything to do with arts and crafts. They much preferred running around outside, jumping and shouting. It was the sitting down that bothered them, unless, that is, there was food about. Eating large amounts of food was something of a hobby for them. I hardly ever threw food away, leaving it out on the edge of the table until, hey presto, it would disappear!
Growing up, the boys hated pink and purple (girls colours), even going so far as refusing to dry themselves with a pink towel at the swimming pool. I later swapped it with a friend who is a mother of girls, returning with a green one instead, to my boys’ relief.
As one of my sons said, 'I don't like girls; they talk too much and don't play football.’
This was about to change within a few years …
Alice and Goody Two Shoes: We are both aware of the boy/girl differences. We are also aware of the different pressures put on our children because they are being raised in a country that hosts very different people groups, for better and for worse.
We will attempt to address these other issues in Part 2-issues such as religion, festivities, army service, study, job opportunities, housing and marriages.
Together we stand, divided we fall. Although our situation looks pessimistic, we refuse to accept stereotypes and continue to develop our relationship with mutual trust.
Please bear with us as we thrash out some of these issues with you in a public forum.