Family, Writing

Do you worry?

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We all worry, maybe not all but most or some of us, at different levels; something that can be normal, mild or severe.

One of my friends told me once about her mother-in-law. She thinks too much about her health and her worries turned into suspicion. She does not eat at anyone’s house. She doesn’t eat any food. She rarely accepts to eat out. This is strange but who knows something might have happened to her that resulted in her being such a worried person.

Raising up children on your own in a foreign place where it is just you, your spouse and just friends who usually left, went back to their countries, is enough to make you experience worry with all levels. One day, about four years ago, my son texted me; ‘mama the bus didn’t come and I still waiting at the bus stop next to my school.’ That wasn’t something normal because my son’s school was too far from our house; it was in a remote part of the city. And on that day, he could not take the school bus because he had basketball club and finished at 4:30 pm. What made it worse was that he didn’t text when he missed the first one. He kept waiting and texted about 5:30. Why? Because he knew if his mother worries so much, he wouldn’t join the club in the winter.  Honestly, that was my decision but I didn’t tell him at that moment.

I don’t know how many times, I called and texted my husband but apparently they were so many. I still remember how he was breathless; talking while running down the stairs at his work telling me he was on his way.

When I called my son and told him that his father was on his way, he said; ‘the bus has just arrived. Shall I take it?’

‘Of course, jump on.’ I told him and he did. It was a long way from school to our house and I didn’t want him to wait any more at that far place.

‘What about papa?’ My son asked

‘Oops!’

I believe my worries were normal that day. What do you think?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

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Family, Writing

My son is 18

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How did hours, days and years go that fast?

It was like yesterday when I held him in my arms, close to my chest and cried.

My baby with his little eyes, his little nose and his little mouth had arrived safely.

His hands were so tiny in my hands. He cried. He yawned. He had a good night’s sleep.

Today, he is 18 and I am so proud of my young man, the eldest.

Now he is taller than me, stronger than me, and smarter than me.

Now he is more like a brother, a caring brother.

But in my heart, he will always be my baby.

May the future of our sons and daughters be bright, purposeful and prosperous.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Family, Writing

Wonder

 

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We’re still in the Easter break and on social media, I read many reviews and comments recommending Wonder, the American drama film. Yesterday, my boys and I watched it but my daughter didn’t want to join us so she spent the night playing with her father. My boys,15 and 17 years old, looked at me; This is not a children movie, mama? They were ready to escape. ‘Just watch and relax’, I told them.

They liked it and so did I. It’s a heartwarming and inspiring story for all ages and I cannot wait to read the novel by R. J. Palacio.

Have you watched it or read the book?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Family

New house

How many times did we move to a new house? 🤔 don’t count, please!

This is not because of me ( sometimes not always) but our circumstances change: having children, finishing studies, my husband starting a new job in a different city, problems in old house, …

When my children watched their old photos, they would say; how many times did we move mama? That house was the best? Yes, we remembered that doll’s flat, we cannot remember that one, we were too little, … it’s fun to talk about moving but it’s really a hard time: packing, unpacking, tidying, cleaning, changing address, and endless list of chores

Our new house key lock is so hard, it takes time to open the door, sometimes it’s stuck. My son gave up, every time texted me; open the door mama, I’m very close. I would have ignored his text and let him try till he open it, but it might end up with an extra charge for door damage.

Though different but this reminds me of our first flat at university accommodation which was like a maze; every time when coming back, I tried hard to open the door, and it refused, no way it insisted, until I gave up, raising up my face, oops It wasn’t ours. When we became friends, I told my neighbour about those countless numbers when I thought hers was mine; ‘ I have never noticed that,’ she said, ‘ and ‘ this is why we become friends,’ I thought.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Family, Writing

Reward or Support

There are still about 5 months left for the month of Ramadan, but today one of the songs has refreshed some precious memories into my mind and heart.

My boys started practicing fasting early and gradually. The hardest time for them was when we have this once in a year beloved visitor during the summer, days become too long,  the dawn so early, and the dusk so late.

One year, my middle son was doing very well though he’s always impatient, would have a hundred snacks per day, full of energy and never listen if I ask him to have a nap at noon or play indoor. One day when it was too hot, he came asking for money to buy a new mini sweetie juice that one of his friends was drinking and enjoying so much and ‘ I’ll have it after our Iftar (breakfast),’ he said. After he got the juice, he disappeared in his room and when his brother and friends came inquiring if he would join them, he shouted from upstairs ‘I’m tired, won’t play.’ This was weird, wasn’t it?

I went to his room, he was lying down in his bed, when I asked him if there was anything wrong; ‘ just tired mama tired,’ I sat at the edge of his bed,  my eyes were trying to find out where was that juice. ‘ Won’t you show me this sweetie special juice?’ I asked. He quietly got up and brought it from behind the curtains.  I knew that he was not tired but sad, deeply sad.  His fingers and lips and the juice were blue.

‘Did you drink it?’

‘No, I didn’t,’ he said without looking at me

‘ But why your fingers and lips are blue?’

He couldn’t lie anymore, he went to the mirror and stuck his tongue out, it was all blue. He told me that he wanted to smell it, pulled the lid up with his teeth, he accidentally squeezed the bottle and the juice splashed into his mouth. ‘I didn’t want to drink it mama, just smell it,’ how he cried and how sad he looked really broke my heart.

‘It was a mistake, my son and I did dozen like this when I was in your age.’

‘ I’m still fasting,’

‘Yes, even if you do this when you’re a grown-up, you’re still fasting.’

‘Can I go and play now?’

‘But you’re tired.’

‘Not anymore.’

In another year, my elder son, was about 14 years old when he came back from school, telling me his news, picked up a large glass, opened the cold water tap, filled it up to the top, and drank it all in one gulp, leave not even a drop, I was looking at him, puzzled;

‘Couldn’t you fast today?’

‘Of course I’m fasting, it was too hot but I’m ok.’

‘Of-course you’re, you’ve just drank a full glass of water!’

‘Oops, I forgot!’

Was it a reward for patience? Was it a support from the Merciful? I believe it was both.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Family, Writing

She is my mother

 

She is my mother, when she was young, beautiful and strong.

She is my mother, when she was old, disable and weak.

She is my mother, when she was alive.

She is my mother , when she is dead.

My eyes see her eyes, my ears hear her voice and my soul knows hers.

May God forgive you my mother!

May God replace every bit of your sufferings and pains in  this human life with endless pleasure in heaven!

You’ll always be in my heart.

Family, Writing

Hairstyle

There is a well-known saying: “ the only person you can change is yourself” 

Although it always used in the context of challenging oneself to be better. When i read it today i remembered my sons’ hairstyle. 

Last year, my sons decided to have a new hair style; something completely different to how we used to see them. At the beginning, both their father and I angrily said “we don’t like this and we don’t see anyone we know have this hair style even your friends?” They both have the same answer; “ Exactly! This is what we like, we don’t copy anyone else.” 

I told my husband it’s just about time and they will change it. But he said “ No, they won’t” and it was true as for more than a year now they haven’t changed it. 

Do you think i give up? No. Sometimes, i said i am not going to pay for your haircut. Sometimes i said look what others are telling me about your hair? Sometimes i send them their old photos.
But nothing has changed. 

It’s us who decided to change. Honestly, we still don’t like it but instead of being angry, we take it as a joke giving names to their hairstyle and every now and then we check its length and texture! And my sons laugh and reply; “thank you, we like it and won’t change it.”

It’s really hard to change any person even if they are your own sons! 

With all best wishes,

Nahla

Family

Five pound

 

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Though our dinner time always start peacefully, it has become my son’s habit to start teasing his little sister just before he finishes eating. There is 8 years gap between them but he always finds it funny to annoy her though he is not doing the same with his brother who is just 2 years older. How is this related to the 5 pound note? This is what I am going to explain now:

Yesterday, when having our dinner, I was not in that good mood and I did not expect to be that patient when watching one laughing and the other screaming. So I thought about discussing something and I started telling them something that though had happened last week but had just came to mind at that moment. I said:

“Last week when I was waiting for the bus to pick up Mariam (my daughter) from school, I saw a young man quickened his pace as if he was going to catch the bus though no bus at the bus stop. But he suddenly bend over and snatched a £5 note from the ground. He really picked it up so quickly as if he was snatching it and hid it in his pocket. He then walked more quickly and disappeared.”

My sons said: “What did you expect mama?”

I said: “Well, since it was not a clear scene, I expected that he would ask me or ask the old man that was just a few steps ahead if it was ours but he didn’t! I thought that the old man probably had dropped it as I was there for about a few minutes and I was totally sure there was nothing on the ground.  Also, it was not mine as I had not got any on that day.” I then asked: “What about you? What would you do?”

My older son kept quiet which was really the best thing to do at that time. It was my middle son who started arguing explaining everybody would do the same and nobody is going to ask; “Is this yours?” “It was just a £5 not £1000 mama”, he said.  Then he started questioning me:  if it was you or the other man seeing it first, wouldn’t you take it? Why did anyone leave it? It did not belong to any one.”

I replied:”Yes it did not belong to anyone and I just guessed that it was the other man’s. And yes it was not a classroom or a school so you know where to ask. But I just wondered why he did not even look round and pretend that he wouldn’t take it.”

Before my son say anything, my daughter decided to join in giving her own opinion which would definitely oppose her brother’s and make him wrong: “No we do not take it. It’s not ours”, she said. And this was the straw that broke the camel’s back as they remembered they had not practiced their everyday habit and they started all over again.

Was it better if we did not discuss any topic at dinner time?

All the best,

Nahla

 

Family, parents, Personal, Writing

School is Tomorrow!

 

 

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”Have a nice holiday!”

” We should arrange to meet up one day during the holidays.”

This was how the summer holiday started when parents usually exchange their best wishes at school gate. But; can you believe that this was a month and a half ago! Time really flies!

Time goes too fast as if we are getting the fastest high speed train in the world where we get on and off according to the different stages that we experience in our life. A month and a half ago, we got off at “School holiday” . Soon, we were getting on again to continue our life express train journey and to get off again but this time at “Back to school.”

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In between these two stops; wouldn’t it be great to close our eyes for a while and think! What can we see? What thoughts do we have? Holidays are wonderful opportunity for family time and taking photos to save those happy moments but please don’t forget to think about them too!

Let’s think about the last stop” School holiday”:

For me;

I can see how my children though have become more independent but also become closer to us (their parents).

I can see how it made my day when I met with new people or received kind words from old or new acquaintances even if it was online.

I can see how kindness is always rewarded by more kindness even if it’s just a swing!

I can see how happiness is so simple! even if there is No Internet Zone

I can see how if you think you know everything, you know nothing! A lesson from Penguins!

I can see how celebrations are not merely to have new stuff, go out, and pay more. We can not fully enjoy our celebrations without understanding their significance! This is Why do we celebrate Eid?

I can see that most of the time when reading other’s thoughts, I realise how we do share lots of common things. Actually, similarities are more than differences!

I can see lots of other things but that would be too much for You; my readers.

What about you? What can you see?

Now we are approaching a new Stop: ” Back to school.”

Let’s see how fast it would go and what thoughts would inspire us this year?

I wish all of our children a pleasant and successful school year!

With my best wishes,

Nahla

 

Faith, Family, Muslim celebrations, Personal, Writing

The journey of a lifetime!


First of all, this post is about my own experience and I have not thought about writing a systematic guide or knowledge which can easily be obtained by a double-click on google.

This is about my pilgrimage journey! Hajj

Ten years ago my husband and I went to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage). I know by heart that Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and once you can afford to make the journey; physically and financially, then you must go. It’s the journey of a lifetime. A Muslim can perform it at as many times as he/she can afford.

Honestly, I did not think about going to Hajj at that time. Why? Because it was common among all people I know to plan to perform hajj later in their life. Apparently, when we become older with less or free from responsibilities; at the time when we decide to live life wisely and thoughtfully. And (this may be a new information for you) but some Arabic countries did not permit people to go to hajj unless they are over 50 and in urgent medical cases they would allow a young relative to accompany and look after the old pilgrim. This may have been changed now! Or may not!

At that time, we were already in the UK. My boys were 7 and 5 years old. My husband had just finished his postgraduate studies and started his academic career. I was about to start my postgraduate studies too. But sometimes we are destined to go through unexpected plans that would turn out to be better than our long-term ones!

This was what happened to us. How?

One year before we went to Hajj, some friends sent us an email explaining the full details of the expenses and documents required in case we would think about going the year after. My husband was very encouraged and determined. He said: “we have the money, are young and healthy, so it’s time to perform hajj!” He started making comprehensive inquiries. We did not wait long as everything had been arranged and confirmed smoothly. I was excited but the only and first thing I asked about was; what about the boys? Our friends decided to leave theirs, who was much younger than ours, with their family in their home country. I had never left my sons with anyone before even with my own family except for a few hours! I thought to take them with us but my husband and other friends advised me not saying” it would be very hard for them besides they would have a great time with my family in Egypt” And that how it was! We arranged two flights one to Egypt and another to Jeddah.

After spending a few days with family, we were on our way to the airport to get our flight to Jeddah. I was happy; extremely happy, because it was no longer a plan or a dream but real! we were on our way to perform this fifth pillar! But I also could not stop crying thinking about my boys. I prayed with my whole heart: “Ya Allah, this is for your sake, please make this easy for me and take care of my sons!”

Then we were flying to Jeddah to start our hajj rituals in Makkah!

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla