Upon arriving in our new home, Saudi Arabia we had to wait in a long line at immigration. We immediately started noticing that people were staring at us. OK, yes we had a lot of baggage. We paid extra to bring extra bags knowing that the three months it will take to get our shipment will seem like forever. We also were not the only non-Saudis. There was a whole line dedicated to non- Saudi Arabian citizens. To us we didn’t seem to stand out so the staring was strange. I surveyed my outfit and I was covered by Saudi customs. I wore jeans and a long sleeved Baylor University shirt. According to customs here I do not need to fully cover up. There were several other foreign women in our line, many which were not as covered as I was.
So why were we the focus of everyone’s stares?
A Saudi gentleman approached us and asked if he could hold Baby Markey. This seemed a little strange and we said no. Another man approached us and wanted to take a picture with our daughter. Again, we said no. Then we noticed that people were subtly taking pictures of her with their phones! Then a woman came up to us and told us that we were blessed to be parents to a golden child.
That’s when we noticed that Baby Markey was the only fair-skinned, blond child in the airport. We are still cautious of people coming up to her and still won’t let strangers hold her but we now understand the appeal.
Her popularity continues to grow. When swimming at the family pool there was a line of children following her. Many of them wanted to touch her blond, curly hair. A blond child is rare over here and only is here like we are, because of work.
So Baby Markey is know as the “golden child” wherever we go and is treated like a celebrity walking on Rodeo Drive. Don’t worry, we are keeping her grounded and won’t let the attention go to her head!
Not all attention is positive. The other day she met a new little girl. The two of them were talking while I was talking to the little girls mom. I heard the little girl questioning my daughter about her hair but I didn’t think anything of it and continued to chat with the other mom. The next thing I knew, the little girl had pointed to my daughter and was screaming, “I don’t like you!” to her so the whole room could here.
I knew this day would come. Not everyone is meant to get along but this was the first time my two-year-old daughter had experienced this. She grabbed my hand and looked up at me with sad eyes. Of course I picked her up and loved on her, telling her how much I love and like her.
Don’t feel too sorry for our golden child. She is happily enrolled in Latin Dance, music lessons and has quickly made friends. It will be interesting to follow her many adventures as a golden child here in Saudi Arabia.