Yesterday was a busy day. Our house was the South London collection point for the Gaza convoy. The phone did not stop ringing and the doorbell was constantly in use as Muslims dropped off their donations. I cannot believe how generous Muslims have been. My house was packed with brand new clothes, nappies, medicine, school bags and shoes. And more wanted to donate. But the brother who was driving a van on the convoy had to pick everything up last night. May Allah reward all those involved. Ameen. It was especially nice for R to see sadaqa in action. She kept saying “They’re brining more sadaqa for Gaza!” Hopefully this will be a lasting memory and will push her to love giving to those who are in need.
In the morning, I interviewed our new Arabic tutor. My husband was the one who was teaching R, but to be honest he hasn’t done much with her in the last year and I felt that if I didn’t act soon, she would lose her Arabic. MashaAllah, she speaks Fusha Arabic, but she is not moving anywhere with her reading or writing. And this really disturbs me. So, although we really don’t have the money for a private tutor, I convinced my husband that it was a sacrifice that we had to make. And so the sister from Lebanon came and she will be starting with R twice a week from next week inshaAllah. We’ll see how it goes inshaAllah.
A couple of hours in the afternoon, we had guests and R had a fantastic time playing with her friend T who is also home educated. It was nice seeing them both playing non-stop for a few hours. Gave me a chance to have a nice fruitful discussion with his Mum, whom I love dearly for the sake of Allah.
Then it was off to some ante natal appointments before some more drop offs for Gaza in the evening. So, this is what happened at the hospital which has left me thinking…
R has been quite early with everything. She started walking early, talked early, read early mashaAllah. And at the age of 5 has lost her first tooth! She is over the moon and quite happily tells everyone. The midwife at my antenatal appointment yesterday was no exception. With mouth wide open, she showed her the gap in her mouth. And the midwife exclaimed, “Ooh! Did you put it under your pillow?” I didn’t allow her to go any further and quickly said “We don’t really practise that tradition.” I didn’t want her to imprint a wrong image in the mind of my daughter. If anyone was going to do it, it would be me and I would quickly show her the flaws in this tradition.
In the car, R had a 1000 questions. What did she mean? Why do we put a tooth under the pillow etc? As I was driving home, I considered leaving it but then thought no. She has to learn that there are others who practise things which are quite common in the society we live in but that have no place in Islam.
So, I spoke to her about the non-muslim belief in fairies. But that we don’t believe in fairies, because there is nothing in the Quran or sunnah that states they exist. She was fine with that. I then ‘shocked’ her that many parents lie to their children saying that it is the fairies that take the teeth and exchange it for money. You should have seen her face! “So,” she said “they lie to their OWN children!” She couldn’t make sense of it. And to be honest, talking to her about it – neither could I! Children who later discover that there are no such things as fairies learn that their parents have indeed lied to them. Can you imagine the psychological effects this has on a child??? Maybe I’m being a bit ‘Over-the-top’ about all of this, but it really reiterated to me the importance of being truthful with our children and teaching them the principle of honesty by way of action.
In the car, she became quiet and was looking into the distance (she does this when she is deeply thinking about something) and then asked me a question very quietly, like she was really shy of asking lol. “Ummi, did you used to put your teeth under the pillow?” I told her that I did because I wasn’t raised as a Muslim when I was a child. She then asked me how I became a Muslim. And I told her my reversion story. I’m worried that she will see me in a different light. Naturally, I didn’t go into detail about all those ‘wild days’, but I could see on her face that she wasn’t very happy that I once did not believe in Allah.
Since R turned 5, I feel that she has changed somewhat. She seems to be thinking more, analysing more. And I’m quite worried. A sister commented recently that she has started everything quite early and that maybe she would mature early. I, myself began my menses at the age of 9. My mother was also 9 and there seems to be a pattern of early physical and mental development in my side of the family. I assumed that she might start her menses at the average age of 11/12/13. But, my mother has commented that she is just like me when I was her age in her development. This really does worry me because if she does follow the female pattern in my family, I have less than four years to get her ready Islamically before the angels start recording her good and bad deeds.
I’m rambling now. Just some of my concerns… May Allah helps us all. Ameen.