Writing

Are you ready?

 

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Tomorrow will be the first day of  Ramadan. My sons kept reminding me; mama please don’t forget this and that when making this week shopping. They want the fridge and the kitchen cupboard to be full of snacks and desserts so after Iftar (breakfast), they will transfer those sweet and salty packets to their rooms when they usually disappear; ‘ we’re going to relax for a bit before night prayer. This relaxation means snacks + mobile.  That’s not all, the first thing they asked me: ‘ What are you going to cook on the first day?’

Don’t think that they love food that much. This is their way of celebration which they practised since they had started fasting.  When they were young, we used to encourage them to fast in this way, by getting lots of snacks to be shared by all of us after having our iftar. Now they are teenagers, taller than me,  but still, like to keep this habit.

By the way, the month of Ramadan is not about food. I like to follow you-tubers or others on social media sharing their recipes for the holy month, just for fun.

Fasting is an obedience; one of the main pillars of Islam. In this month, Muslims are supposed to do their best to obey The Lord, to show how far we can get close, and how far we can be better. It’s a reminder to care more for the soul than for the body.

 

This month, I will try to write a post every day. I will write about our experience of fasting this year. It might be so brief, but at least, I will try.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

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Writing

My daughter’s guest

On Friday, at school home time, my daughter ran to me with a big smile. We had a guest. This guest was her class teddy. At the end of every week, her teacher picked randomly a name which is supposed to be the luckiest to have teddy over the weekend. It’s a wonderful idea because it encourages children to write about and express their feelings as well as sharing the fun with their friends. Every week they cannot wait to know whose turn it will be. They cannot wait to have this special teddy in their house, to take photos, to write about their adventures and finally to stick and arrange everything in the teddy’s schoolbook.

So on Friday, it was my daughter’s turn. Her adventure started as soon as we left the school. She talked with her teddy about our daily walking journey to and back from school. She believed teddy was so excited because last time when we had him, we took the bus, so this time was different. As soon as we arrived, she took her guest on a tour around the new house, especially her room and introduced him to the new toys he hadn’t seen last time.

On Saturday, it was raining when we went shopping and my daughter said teddy would be very bored; he doesn’t like shopping. ‘He will this time,’ I told her, ‘because I will buy him a special chocolate.’ Teddy wasn’t bored anymore. He flew in the air; my daughter jumped to catch him and hugged him. ‘There’s a surprise for you,’ she whispered to her guest who all of a sudden changed his mind and decided that it would be fun to go shopping.

Sunday was the best; sunny and warm and we went to the seafront. There, Teddy had an ice cream. There, he collected stones. There he waved to the big ferry. What else, there he giggled when one of the little boys ran to the water to wash his chocolate ice cream cone. He gasped when his tiny feet touched the chilly salty water. But finally, he was tired and fell asleep. But on the way home, he got up and begged his friend to take him to the park. He wanted to go on the swing. And so we went there. My daughter set him next to her on the swing and took up to the sky. She looked after him so well and he didn’t fall.

It was really fun to have teddy. I think it’s a brilliant idea that can create a wonderful story out of a simple toy.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

Writing

One more!

 

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Today at breakfast, my daughter said; ‘I’m full, mama.’ There wasn’t much left and I asked her to try one more to finish her plate. ‘I’m full, mama,’ she repeated.

I did not force her because she ate well and sometimes you cannot add any more. I don’t know how people in food competitions could eat that much just to win or to register a high score. It’s really awful to eat more than you can afford. It is known that animals eat when they are hungry; they eat to survive although these days I doubt it. I think they’ve changed too. Have you seen how seagulls snatch, or better to say steal, people’s sandwiches, chips and crisps? When I was young I learned that seagulls fish close to the surface. They also eat earthworms, snails and slugs. But when I moved to cities by sea or rivers, I noticed how these birds have not only adapted well to live with man but also learned his greedy eating habit.

Many years ago, one of my friends went to a social gathering with people of her country at well-known Arabic restaurant. She visited me after they had finished and described the different varieties of starters, main dishes and desserts; hummus, tabula, green salad, stuffed vine leaves, kebab, baklava, rice pudding … yummy! The list made my mouth water. But she did not look well. She tried to lay down on the sofa but she couldn’t. She told me that she ate so much and her husband gave her more. Then, she couldn’t hold it anymore; she ran to the bathroom and vomited up all the food she had eaten that night.

Wasn’t it better if she said she cannot eat anymore?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

parents, Writing

Spiders

 

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Since we have moved to our new house, I have not spotted any spiders; this was good.

My middle son’s room is really really awful. His wardrobe is almost empty, and all his clothes are thrown out. I don’t know which ones are clean and which are dirty, but he said he knows.

Why do you have a wardrobe? I always ask him.

‘ I will pack them back,’ is his reply but he won’t, I know.

His muddy football boots were forgotten under the chairs. Plates, cups, water bottles are on his bookshelf. How many times I told him to clean it?  And how many times he promised, he will do? Countless times. Today, I wanted to surprise him and clean it. I expected to find spiders but there wasn’t any and now it is super clean. Hopefully, he will start to consider cleaning it regularly.

Then I moved on to my room, vacuuming and changing the bed sheet and covers, when all of a sudden, a spider, not big, not small was on my bed. He kept still, alive but motionless. I did not know where he came from. My room was not that bad. Definitely, it was not like my son’s. I did not think too much. I hit it with the duster, wrapped the corpse in a paper towel, and threw it in the bin.  ‘You’re in the wrong place’, I said

If I tell my son that spiders are escaping from his dirty room to mine, he will say that’s why he won’t clean it; to scare me. It’s better to keep it secret.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Writing

Precious love

 

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These days the weather is great, long bright days and clear nights. Everybody is out, having fun and enjoying the good weather before it starts raining again. My boys are out with their friends for most of the time. Their happiness would always make me happy. Today I thought how children’s love is so pure and how their simple acts would make your heart leap and I remembered these:

A phone call from my son after school just to know what the doctor had said about my headache? (then he started arguing about his evening plans)

When my son cries out from downstairs, looking for me, he cannot wait to tell me about one of his adventures (of course something not private and confidential)

When my daughter ran to hug me at the school gate with a big smile because that day I could not take her to school in the morning.

And when my eldest came home, a bouquet of flowers in his hand on Mother’s day, it was a rainy evening, very rainy, and he was so wet and tired when he said; ‘mama, this is for you.’

Raising children is not an easy task and the more they grow up, the harder it becomes. Don’t count the missed calls and texts, the fights and arguments, and don’t forget their dirty rooms and their complaints about the simple chores. But their love is so precious. Their love will embrace your heart. Their love will make you smile. And their love will make you always thank God for having them in your life.

True, children are a blessing and a gift from The Creator.

Wishing you and yours 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

Writing

Snow in March

Yesterday, it was all white here, white fluffy blanket, thrown from heaven and covered all the country. It was beautiful, I didn’t see snow since we were living in scotland, now in England, it looked like an elegant, priceless type of present wrapping paper, covering the precious spring, announcing that the warm, bright, and colourful days will soon bloom.

It was a wonderful surprise, schools and colleges were closed , so the boys hurried outside with friends, they would never be bothered with storm, snow or freezing air, yes it was fun, but when they told me it was so slippy too, my daughter and I, with baba at work, preferred safety, and snow in the garden was enough.

This picture from google.

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

parents, Writing

Children Imagination

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Children has a wild imagination which is really nice, good and interesting but sometimes this imagination, instead of being fun, turns your day or may be your week upside down. Here comes the problem!

One day, my daughter’s friend told her that a bone was stuck in her throat and she went to see her doctor, he got it out and she was fine, playing and happy; a simple tale (may be made up by her friend), but it wasn’t so for my daughter; she listened and imagined the process, stored the details in her brain for later which was not that far.

She imagined everything, she ate or would eat, would be stuck in her throat, vegetables in her soup, mashed potato, everything soft or hard; how long I explained and how she  listened carefully was good, really good, at least her panic was a bit relieved and she would eat little and go to play, but soon she would come back, crying, repeating the whole story.

Finally I explained how her body is very clever; there is a liquid inside her mouth (is it Saliva? I think so) helps her sharp teeth  mash and ground all of what she eats, some water or juice will do a great job to also help her strong tongue swallow and push everything through her throat straight away into her stomach. And it works.

‘Of course nothing could ever be stuck in my throat,’ she boasted.

‘Yes, and thank God,’ I prayed.

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