Musings of a mum: A perfect Eid

28th Jun 2019

Aasiya I Versi

I always knew I would be a ‘perfect parent’, and then I had children. I knew what to say, my house was always clean and my offspring were so well behaved. They always said their please and thank you’s, were never rude and I had never even heard of a tantrum.

Then…

I had my children, swallowed a slice of humble pie, and became a normal parent. I’m a mother duck with three ducklings and not very good at the juggling act, but I figure what anyone can ever ask of me is that I do my best.

Towards the end of Ramadan, as we were walking and scooting back from school, my eldest duckling nonchalantly said, “Mummy it doesn’t feel like Eid.”I had to shake my head out of my reverie (and my to-do list) and asked, “Why?” “I don’t know mummy. It just doesn’t.”

As wonderful as Eid is, I struggle with managing expectations, but at that moment, I wanted the quietest of my children to feel the celebration and the joy that is supposed to accompany this special day.

My Eids generally go in this sequence

1st to15th Ramadan: ‘I’m looking forward to Eid!’
15th to 25th Ramadan: ‘Let’s be prepared this time.’
25th to 28th Ramadan: ‘Oh no, it’s Eid.’
28th to 1st Shawwal: ‘Let’s drive off this cliff together.’

I wanted it to be different this time around. I wanted all of them to ‘feel’ the Eid. So I had the presents and clothes ready. The three ducklings were in bed by midnight, before my brain turned into a pumpkin. It was the night before Eid and I felt at peace with the world.

The day dawned bright but not too hot. I woke up, saw my husband off to Eid prayers. I got myself ready and made the last finishing touches to a few of the presents. I got the children ready and we could leave on time (Hallelujah!). I loved every calm minute of it.

What followed were our normal family traditions of cemetery visits and the potluck brunch where we all eat a bit too much. At the gathering my youngest discovered he can stick his hands in his nappies, without really giving a thought to what lies in that murky abyss, showcasing his findings to all his nearest and dearest who love him in spite of his disregard for personal and public hygiene.

Towards the end of the day, my middle duck, who can throw a hissy fit that could give Mariah Carey a run for her money (I wonder what our neighbours think of us?), was getting to the end of her tether and closing in on her legendary meltdowns, I told her to think about all the other children who didn’t have what she had.

Duck 2 couldn’t begin to fathom a different reality to her own. It struck me then, is how little we acknowledged anyone outside of our family bubble. My children are not aware of what they have, and that lack of exposure to others in differing circumstances is a gaping shortcoming in their lives.

Our Eid was perfect, but I wish we could have played a bigger role in making someone else’s a little bit better.

 

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