As a child my upbringing was quite strict and reserved. When we were small, my siblings and I would get taken visiting and for day trips. As we got older, we found ourselves fairly isolated. My parents were quite reserved and after the death of my very outgoing and sociable grandparents, my parents limited visiting to births, deaths and similar important reasons. We rarely went out as a family and I spent every summer holiday reading book after book and wishing I had cousins my age that I could have sleepovers and spend holidays with like my school friends.
One consequence of this as an adult has been my conscious choice to live like my grandparents. This means having an open house full of extended family and guests, doing lots of fun things with my children and always being up for a new adventure. Another consequence of my upbringing is that I love to throw parties or go to them. I never want to say no and I love to dress up and host guests or take food along or try new foods at friends’ places. I love to meet new friends and to spend time chatting and laughing with old ones.
The last two weeks have been slightly crazy. We have been to a one-dish party after work, a little boy’s aqeeqah party, two dholki/mayoun nights (part of a Punjabi wedding where women get together), a henna night to get my henna done and a wedding on the other side of London.
During the same period we spent a day at Hever Castle, a day in the Lake District and two days in Scotland (a six hour drive with four children and two elders). At the same time I have been going to work and trying to stay alert enough not to fall off of my chair.
We have had lots and lots of fun. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to dress up, try new food and see new places. I am most grateful for all of the kind people who have welcomed us into their homes.
But right now I am all partied out. I am tired, my feet drag, my mind is sluggish and my throat sore. My idea of fun now? A nice book, a quiet home, simple meals without any fuss. I am looking forward to laundry, hoovering and scrubbing the bathtub and cooking home-made meals. Slowly and gently bringing some routine and order into my home and for my family insh’Allah.