It’s late Sunday night. My whole family is asleep, even my husband. He’d been up since the dawn prayer.
Not me; I was so tired this morning, I fell right back asleep after we prayed
before the sun peeked over the horizon.
Then I woke up to my children climbing over my back. I heard the tick, ticking of my husband’s fingers typing away at the desk near the windows.
The morning light poured into our home.
My youngest, just two, was near my head whining:
mooooommmmaaaaaa, mommmmaaaaa, I want milkeeeeeeeee…
My husband rubbed my sore back so I could get up and start the day.
It’s Sunday, so no rush…
So I ran to the grocery store, our littlest in tow. She loves to drive the car affixed to the shopping cart, as I whiz through the aisles.
I love going shopping without all five of my children with me.
As I cooked breakfast, I listened to the Quran.
We had bagels and scrambled eggs. I got an extra large coffee to make up for not having any yesterday.
I had several meetings with my business partner, who is also my husband. We have a lot of work to do.
My oldest daughter was so excited that her friend was coming over today, until we got the unpleasant news of cancellation. The rest of her day was spent fighting back tears of disappointment. She’s eight years old.
I have a bunch of plants I haven’t been able to finish planting in our garden. I attempted it today but decided to take a few nature photos first and before I had a chance, I was graced with a visit from my neighbor, who I haven’t chatted with in some time.
Meanwhile my two oldest children were working out how to assemble some drawers for a closet system we are installing in the master bedroom. They did a pretty great job considering I was busy talking most of the time while they put them together.
When I went inside, I noticed a bucket filled with water near the kitchen sink with some Lily of the valley flowers in it. A torn note nearby said: for Mommy, from Ibrahim. That’s my son’s work, he’s so thoughtful like that.
I tried repeatedly to comfort my daughter who’s friend couldn’t come; while I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the food of choice for my son, fourth in line, who is almost four.
They devoured their sandwiches and ran outside to play. All but my oldest. Emotional.
While my husband and I held yet another discussion, my 5 year old daughter got a nasty cut on her toe. Several rounds of bandaids, peroxide, and hugs followed.
We break for prayer.
It turned out that my poor baby with the cut toe fell asleep before my lasagne was ready and kept on sleeping right up until bedtime, until now.
I remembered when I had fallen asleep so early as a child and how it didn’t affect anything. No matter, no responsibilities…..
So we sat down to dinner together minus one. As our five year old slept, our two year old entertained the rest of us. She talked at the top of her lungs in her deep-for-a-two-year-old voice, about birds and balls and all sorts of baby talk that had the other three children in uproarious laughter. My oldest momentarily forgot her boredom as she enjoyed her sister’s antics.
Normally neither my husband nor I would tolerate such ill manners at the table, but tonight it was sweet and we just smiled and watched them. Their beautiful, innocent faces giggling and bright.
There was an amazing accomplishment at dinner. Zak, the PB&J eater, was coaxed by his older brother into eating a copious amount of green beans. Believe me, that is worth writing down.
After everything was all cleaned up (well, almost) and the kids were all changed and teeth were brushed, I sat down at my desk and did some more work (the kind I love to do) and now here I am, recapping an average day for you.
Being Muslim doesn’t make my life strange, or my days much different, but it does add a few things:
Five times today my husband and I (and some kids here and there) stopped everything and stood to pray, trying our best to clear our minds of all of life’s clutter and to focus on the source of life; One greater than all the world and it’s trappings.
Reorienting ourselves, remembering what it’s all about, and how temporary it all really is.
We took the time to be close to our Creator, in gratitude and in need. In need of His guidance, His help. Humbling ourselves before Him with our foreheads on the floor.
In between the prayers I got angry at my daughter, who was crying and crying and complaining of boredom, but I remembered how the prophet Muhammad said, “Don’t get angry.” and he taught us how to minimize it.
I’m not always good at that, so when I lost my patience and yelled at my kids for not cleaning up, though I had asked several times – I thought about how they have been entrusted to me by the Owner of everything;
They are not mine, but His – and my responsibility is to treat them with care –
so I asked for His forgiveness.
When my son was talking about another boy in his class, who he thinks has really great behavior (something my son struggles with) I encouraged him to say a prayer for him, that his friend would be increased in goodness and granted success. I reminded him, that the prophet Muhammad said that when we say a prayer for someone else, an angel makes that very prayer for us. Encouraging him to wish good for others, so that it could also increase the good he receives.
When I kiss my kids good night, I remind them to sleep with remembrance of their Maker.
I wish them peace as I turn off the lights.
I’m tired now. My husband has just reminded me about how tired I was this morning. I should go to bed.
As I do, I will remember God and I will remember death. I’ll ask Him to help me be better tomorrow, to get up on time to stand in prayer,
before the sun peeks over the horizon.