You wonder what a bunch of kids ranging from Fifteen to Three can teach me about fasting in Ramadan ?
Yes, well, I thought the same way but sometimes these things tend to make an impact when they are least expected, as it’s been continuously happening for the past few days.
The problem is most of us are preoccupied to grasp the fact that we are being taught little lessons in the most basic way especially when they come from our own kids.
I ask you why not ?
Think about it, they are not distracted with issues we face as adults, they look at the world in a very differently way than we do, of course they lose this ability as they grow older but until then everything they see and experience is unique and simple.
That simplicity is what I’m talking about.
If I should quantify my knowledge about faith, I can cup it with one palm( maybe less) as far as I’m concerned, there is only one truth, no less no more, and that is, there is no god but Allah and prophet Muhammad was the last messenger, that’s it.
I teach my kids and live by rules in which we don’t judge, we don’t criticize, we are accountable for our actions and deeds, good or bad can be judged only by a higher power and we do not follow any living entity regarding our faith.
It’s as simple as that. We co-exist with harmony and peace with everyone. no matter the differences among us.
But in this month of Ramadan, a thirty-day fasting period, where we learn to strengthen our faith, my kids are teaching me, by their simple but down to earth deeds.
1.The Empty chair
There is an empty chair on our table, obligations to our little family has made it impossible for Riza, their father to be here, fasting with us. I can see they miss him, I know they miss him.They know the why’s but still it’s not enough. Not a day goes by without them mentioning him.
As we sit at the table to break fast, the empty chair makes me realize how much and how wonderful it would be if he was here. Because of this same reason, they tend to help me more. A lesson in understanding that mama can’t do everything alone.
Kids are not programmed to be patient, they are impulsive, they cause chaos, they play, they fight. They also show me they are capable of patience and making little sacrifices.
I see them waking up at 3 in the morning without a fuss urging each other to eat a little more, drink a little more so they wont have a difficult time fasting.
Helping each other get through the day even when one feels the need to give up. when they are willing to share the food equally. When they sit there on the table with food and not budge an inch, worried they might have eaten a millisecond earlier than the call for prayer that ends the fasting.
3. Working as a family
I’m not alone in the kitchen preparing food. I have my terrible four helping me.
They make a mess, sometimes there is a bit of pushing and shoving but we are working together to set the meals. Of course this means there has to be something sweet on the table but that’s a very tiny sacrifice to make in order to have them helping me out.
They set the table and together they clear the table, including the boys. They are teaching me the value of being a part of a family and four extra pairs of hands in the kitchen makes a whole lot of difference than one single pair.
It doesn’t matter to the boys that the kitchen is a mama’s zone, for them it’s a place to share their idea in what we should make, how much should we make, random bits of topics and a place to tease their eldest sis while learning a bit of cooking.
I know in my heart what we are doing now is going to be the base in how they carry on with their own families and along with what they do, I pray they’ll pass it on to their own, creating a new generation of males who give a helping hand, especially in the month of Ramadan.
4. When you work as a family there is no way to avoid the need to look after each other (even if it means helping your sibling you have issues with, the one who annoys you the most just by standing close to you).
When you set the table you don’t keep a glass of water and dates for yourself you have to keep it for everyone and that you do for almost thirty days is enough to set a habit of looking out for one another in the most basic way.
Lesson, I don’t need to keep telling them or nagging them to do this, I don’t need to sing that song continuously until they get fed up. They already know, and the caring and love will come out when it really counts, it’s time to stop worrying..
5. It’s not all about the big spread you lay out, at the end of the day they just want you to sit with them and break fast, they know you are willing to give up your share so they can have more but they won’t let you.
It’s not about a missing glass of water or spoon, it’s not about your need to prove to yourself that what you’ve done is enough.
lesson, take it easy will you? we don’t expect much but enough to break our fast. We don’t want you running about trying to keep an extra of everything but we need you to sit with us and stop worrying about what you have to do next.
If you need help just ask for it, you don’t need to do everything by yourself, all you’ve got to do is ask and stop complaining and that put things in perspective, doesn’t it?
No, they are not perfect kids, they turn my world upside down, they constantly give me reasons to just go to my room and close the door, seeking a few minutes of peace but they are my imperfect blessings forcing me to look at myself and things differently.
I know as you read this, you probably will look at your own kids the way I do mine, with respect.
Cherish that thought and don’t let go. If I forget I can always come here to remember and you need to find a way to remember the times they taught you something .
A question for you, what was the lesson your child taught you recently?, it doesn’t matter when, it matters how.
Share your thoughts as I said their lessons are small and they don’t pick the moment to teach but you know when it doesn’t leave the mind until acknowledged.
Always with love and regards and wishing you peace and a blessed Ramadan.