…And an otter.
This Friday was Mother’s Day in Thailand, and our church had a special Mother’s Day service this week. Pranee had told friends in our community, so we had extra mothers join us and very literally filled half of the seats in the room.
At one point, they honored the mothers and asked all the mothers to stand. I remained seated–for obvious reasons, I thought. The pastor and a few others then insisted I stand, because “I will be a mother someday…” (No pressure.)
And before long we’re all being pulled to the front, y’know, all the mothers and I.
They begin giving out new sarongs–a beautiful gift, and I’m sure our neighbors are all on top of the world–and the man gives the first one to the woman, also a church staff member, next to me. She is in the middle of the back row, and urges him to start on the side or to the other mothers first. He replies that “these are the fat ones” and proceeds to give one to her. Then, the coordinators begin verbally establishing who the fat ones are and you hear, “She’s fat,” and “This one’s is fat,” and, “Oh, don’t forget this one.” 😂
I got a fat one.
Despite the cultural notes I can know and accept, I’m not sure I’ll ever truly adjust to them. I had been honored as a mother and labeled as fat in less than ten minutes.
After the fatties got their sarongs and the skinnies theirs; we photoed. I was shaking with laughter.
We sat down to begin the sermon, which started with two video clips. They were of animal mothers protecting their young. One clip of an otter–or at least I think it was an otter!–holding it’s baby on his belly, the pastor turned around and said, “Kelli! You!” as he pointed to the screen.
I started shaking with laughter again. As I was holding one of the community babies during dinner, he referenced it again, so I think he was saying because I hold the babies often?
It was a pretty hilarious evening, and I’m certainly glad I have a few photos to remember it forever.