Making little girls cry
Scars of divorce vs. scars of war
March 22, 2005
I don't know what it is about tears of a little girl that just stops me
in my tracks, no matter how fast
I'm going in my life.
Years ago my cousin, who had just separated from
her husband decided to stay with us after my repeated requests
with her to do so. She was the typical Iranian girl who wanted
to get out of Iran so badly that she married a promise. This guy's
grandmother was a neighbor of my aunt's and upon seeing
my cousin, thought she would be a good candidate for her beloved
grandson in the U.S. He was an engineer, a rarity among Iranian
men in the U.S.!
After ceremonies in Iran and the U.S. by both
families, she arrived here and found out that Shaaszdeh
Pessar -- Prince Charming -- was in fact a public-transportation-facilitator-engineer,
i.e. taxi drivee. And he was addicted to narcotics.
It gets better and
After living with this loser for a couple of years,
my brilliant cousin had an epiphany: a child would save the marriage!
A little girl, cuter than a bug's ear and amazingly
sheytoon was what I saw when she was about two. "T" had
long curly hair,
of grandpa on Mom's side, pulled back and tied in a pony
tail. She had little hands with long fingers, an innocent
face and lips that looked like she was about to cry any moment.
She was lovely and one could not help but hug her.
I loved her from the minute I saw her. My wife
and I don't have any kids but I have always told her that
if we ever decide
to, I would only want one just like her, a little girl with curly
"T" managed to make me love her more and more when
moved to California and stayed with us. She was a disturbed child
of a divorce and for the
most part did not have a father figure in her life.
She suffered from the fights, shouting,
and whatever else that goes on in a pre-divorce home.
Gradually "T" calmed
down and became a normal girl. At nights, when I would
come home from work, she would run the length of the house, bare
(again courtesy of her Grandpa) and jump into my arms. She called
Hamid", Da-ee Hamid, (daee is uncle on mother side). For
the few months they stayed with us, she was the daughter I never
My cousin eventually got married again, this
time to a wonderful man who became more of a father to "T" than
anyone else could have.
"T" is now 14. She is not a little girl any more;
she is starting to look like a woman. Almost my height, sophisticated,
well spoken in English and Farsi. I still love her and think about
her and cannot help but to feel sad for her. I always have and
perhaps always will. Maybe only because the way she looked as a
I wrote about a little girl in Mexico, frightening
fireworks, where she had almost the same look, with hair pulled
a pony tail. She got my attention and brought back all the sad
feelings I had about "T".
This morning checked my Yahoo email and
read the news. One of the headlines read: "Doctors blast official
civilian dead" . When I clicked on it, the first thing that came
up was the picture of a little girl, with curly hair, pulled
back into a pony tail and eyes filled with tears asking, "Why"?
I connected with her and wanted to reach through my computer screen
to hug her, as if she was "T".
Then Ebi's song came to my mind: "kee
ashkaato paak mikoneh" (who will wipe your tears)? "T" has plenty
of people to wipe her tears and give her love, but what about
the little girls in Iraq? Are you listening King George? Why do
you want to create an atmosphere that makes little girls