Winning costume ... Ammu Stephen in painted white sheet with blue stripes.  Below: the real Mother Teresa

Three and a half-year old Ammu Stephen, dressed as Mother Teresa, won the costume competition in her school in Kerala, India, thanks to her mother Dhanya who is my foreign live-in caregiver in Israel. Like other foreign caretakers she spends a considerable amount of time every day connected to earplugs and cellphone, talking to her family and friends in their home country. No doubt about it, being a long distance mother is very demanding.

Her husband takes care of Ammu and their two sons, aged 6 and 7, but she is available to talk to the kids before they go off to school and after they return from school, for a report on what they learned, and to wish them sweet dreams before they go to sleep.

One day she received a distraught call from her husband telling her about the school costume competition and asking for advice on how to deal with the problem of creating a costume for Ammu. Dhanya had a bright idea. She mailed him a photo of Mother Teresa and instructed him to take a white sheet, paint blue stripes on it, create a robe and add a headdress around Ammu’s face. Also, to teach her how to hold her hands together as if in prayer and to light up her face with a heavenly smile. He did a very good job. She most certainly looked like a younger version of Mother Teresa (see photos attached).

To everyone’s surprise, Ammu won the costume competition. No one could have been more pleased and proud than Dhanya, her mother in Israel and, of course, me with whom she shared the good news.

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Zipporah Porath

Zipporah Porath is a free-lance writer/ editor/ and publications consultant. Born and educated in the USA, she arrived in pre-state Israel in 1947 on a one-year scholarship to the Hebrew University. C...

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