Now and again you have those really difficult, challenging or plain unproductive days. But rarer still are those days when everything is just good. Today was one of those days (or yesterday now as it is just past midnight).
My favourite time of the day at the moment each day is 9am. Every morning I start the day with fajr (the dawn prayer) and then rush through my other morning ibaadat (worship) trying to feed the baby at the same time. Then it’s time to get the kids up, drag them out of bed, hand then their uniform, get into the kitchen to make breakfast, pack lunches, shout up the stairs at everyone to get down. Then it’s back up the stairs to get dressed, feed the baby if there is time and shout down the stairs at everyone to get their coats and bags. This is followed by the walk to school, complete with squabbling and me telling everyone to hurry. Every morning we get to the school early and end up waiting in the playground in the freezing cold. Little Lady rushes off to the corner her friends hang out in without even turning back to say bye and the boys argue and moan about whose line I am going to stand next to (usually Little Man until the whistle blows to line up and then to Gorgeous’ line, to which he complains every day that I just don’t care about him).
As I leave the school, I see the late parents running to the gates (including children in school uniform still in prams!) only to be told they have to report to the office and explain why they are late). I saunter home and get through the door at exactly 9am. The perfect moment – just in from the cold, the house still warm and completely silent, just me and Darling for the next six and a half hours. All those possibilities for how I could use that time.
Today I used the time to clean the house from top to bottom – laundry, hoover, clean kitchen and bathroom. I even had time to wash my hair during daylight hours (I usually have to wait till the kids are asleep before I have a rushed shower). All whilst the baby slept for two hours. My lovely friend H dropped in for the afternoon and stayed for the evening. We went for a walk and she treated me to a lovely lunch (chicken jalfrezi and lovely fresh naan bread) and then she played with the kids after school. The easy, adult company was ever so nice, as was hearing nice things about my children from her.
This evening also Little Lady finished reading Quran mash’Allah. I am ever so pleased and have promised to let her choose a gift of her choice. But more so, I am happy with her recitation as I think she has a really good, strong voice. More and more I have been thinking about what I want for my children and what role the Quran plays in our aspirations for our children. Insh’Allah, I hope and pray that this is the start of a lifelong journey to study, read, recite beautifully, memorise, understand and act upon the Quran insh’Allah.
Also today Little Man turned eight mash’Allah. We don’t celebrate birthdays in our home as it is not a part of our faith, but I always feel a little sentimental at their birthdays at the thought they are another year older already. We spoke about looking back over the year and thinking about what we did well and what could be improved upon (Muslims are encouraged to review their actions and how they spend their time regularly). Mash’Allah last year Little Man finished Quaidah and started Quran, he helped me immensely and was very sympathetic when I was pregnant (unlike Gorgeous who one day announced “No one is sick that long mum!”) and he became a doting big brother to Darling which surprised and heartened me. Now that he is eight we discussed how he could work on reading and possibly finishing Quran, starting to pray regularly and maybe being kinder and more patient with Gorgeous as he is with Darling.
As the day ended we decided to have a midnight feast (three hours between midnight) with peanuts, Bombay mix, leftover chapatti from breakfast and some really stinky gum Little Man magicked up from somewhere and watch cartoons on the internet. Not a terrible way to end a good day I think.