Today was my first of 40 days of wearing hijab. (You can read more about my Lenten hijab journey here) It started out with my 3 year old daughter Guinevere and me going over to the local Islamic school near my home so I could borrow head scarves from a friend. When we arrived at the school Guinevere was excited to go in with me. As soon as we were buzzed in the front door we entered the office where three of my former coworkers invited me in with hugs and sisterly cheek kisses. Guinevere became suddenly shy around the three women, I assume because of their head coverings, because she is not normally like that. My friend Nermeen told Guinny, who was clinging to my chest with all of her might, all about how she has seen so many pictures of her on Facebook, and that she is getting so big and beautiful. I think Guinny realized quickly that these hijab-wearing friends of mine were just like any other friends because within moments Guinny was twirling and dancing for all of us. It brought joy to my heart. After visiting and getting help putting on my first hijab of the Lenten season, we headed off to Imago Dei Church where I work as the part time Children’s Director. I had a meeting with Charlie, the lead pastor, as I do every week. After we had talked about a few things I explained why I was wearing a head covering and he thought it was a great idea. I also informed him that I was serving communion at the Ash Wednesday service! He’s was cool with that too 🙂 What a great guy!
When we left the church we had to fill the gas tank. While I was sitting in my car waiting for the tank to fill, a delivery man, who was walking about 50 feet away from my car, gave me a big smile and a huge wave…I thought surely he had no idea who I was, but I gave him a big wave back!
After we finished up at the gas station I needed to pick Obi up from preschool. It didn’t occur to me that Obi hadn’t seen me get ready this morning because Jeff took him to school! He ran to me, but then quickly realized that I looked different and took off running to hide. He was very bothered by my appearancet. I sat down on a bench next to a woman and explained why I was wearing the hijab and I said “He’ll get used to it”, assuming that she would understand the importance to me of what I was trying to do. Her response was actually quite opposite. She told me that maybe I should stop wearing it because he is more important to me than what I am doing. Let’s just say I was taken aback, but I didn’t show it. I tried not to let it bother me. I was finally able to corral my son by bribing him with M&Ms, and then I talked to him when we got in the hallway outside of the preschool area. I told him that it’s ok that I look different, and that it’s still just me. I also let him know that I would only be wearing it when I leave the house, and that when we are at home together he would be able to see my hair! He was a little relieved, but not fully. When we walked in the front door at home he said, “Mom, can you take that off now?” and I replied, “definitely” 🙂 When I left for church this evening wearing hijab, and when I came home still wearing it, it didn’t even seem to phase him. We’ll see how tomorrow goes!
I want my children to learn not to judge people, especially by their appearance or first impression. That is the valuable lesson I took away from my first day of wearing hijab. #40daysofhijab