Sometimes I think we forget how our daily actions affect our children.
We know about it, we discuss it, but often times, we naturally forget about what we do and say throughout the day until our children mirror our behaviours. It is then we realize how every small detail is ingrained in their little brains.
Children are truly at a stage in their lives where they have been created to retain every information their minds can consume. This is to form their identity as future adults and sometimes I wish I would tread this path carefully, you know, to be ever aware of what I do or say, or sometimes what I don’t say or do.
Children are sensitive to everything around them because they are open-minded.
Whereas adults we turn away or disregard information that does not pertain to our own interests, the child’s brain sucks in everything in its path without filtering any information.
It is amazing and scary all at the same time.
I think if we do the best we can and be aware of our actions, we will be blessed with little surprises from our children.
Here is a piece I composed reflecting how joyful I was to receive a gift from my daughter. Hope you enjoy it as well.
What are some “little surprises” your children have given you? Or seen from other people that have children?
The Little Moon’s Reflection
Written by Mariam Al-Kalby
Mariam is the founder of Maktoob, a place for Muslims to “donate” their literary masterpieces for a good cause. For more information, please visit createmaktoob.com. You could also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maimuna stood there quietly memorizing me as I pinned my hijab beneath my chin and wrapped a piece of the blue material around my neck and tied it into a knot on the side. She left the room while I gathered diapers and sweaters to put in the diaper bag; we were getting ready to go visit a friend that evening.
She came back with a bright pink Turkish hijab with polka dots scattered all over and lifted it to my face and said in a slow voice, “Heedaab.” I stood there stunned and realized she was saying hijab for the first time. And she wanted to wear one right before we left. I had just fixed her hair into a little ponytail on top of her head and looked at the hijab dangling from her hands and thought, uh, this hijab doesn’t even match her dress.
Then I stopped my irrelevant thoughts and realized how silly I was being. I should have been proud and excited that my two and a half year old daughter wanted to go out and wear hijab…hello! No one was even forcing or persuading her, she was doing it all on her own…how could I say no to that! She would randomly wear the hijab in the house or wear her outfit for prayer and join me sometimes but she never actually initiated wanting to wear one when we went out.
I exclaimed, “Hijab! Come here and let me wrap it for you.” As I fixed the hijab onto her round head, trying to push back the stubborn locks of curls peeking out of the material, I felt the pride and happiness rising into Maimuna’s face. Her cheeks were rosier, her brown eyes sparkled, and I knew exactly what she was feeling at that moment: complete warmth and satisfaction.
It was the feeling you get when someone compliments you on your smile; it was the tingling when you knew you were going to your best friend’s house, and it was that “butterflies fluttering” inside your stomach feeling when you were with the people you loved. It was that maternal stroke when your mother swept her hand across your head as she put you to sleep. This was what Maimuna was feeling. Interestingly enough, I was feeling the same way.
As I was tying her hijab, she stood there patiently and calmly, unusual since I am more acquainted with her much more wilder and untamed side when it came time to go out. To change Maimuna’s clothes or to get her to put on her shoes, I would have to go through all types of hurdles just to grab her and get her to follow directions-jumping on couches, racing through curtains, knocking over dining chairs, rolling through mountains of pillows, and springing atop beds.
But there was a sense of serenity and maturity emanating from Maimuna that seemed so magical while I was donning on the hijab for her. Usually I tie the hijab pieces behind her head but instead wrapped it around her neck and tied it at the side. Just like mine. Maimuna noticed this specific action and squealed in delight because she knew I was taking her seriously. I was not just carelessly tying the hijab for her but she knew I was taking the time to fix and adjust the hijab as if I were wearing it. She appreciated this because she looked at me with pride and happiness that glowed from her little moon face.
When I finished adorning her attire, she turned around and looked at the full-length mirror before her. She smoothed her dress down and lifted her small hands and caressed the hijab. Maimuna turned to the side and looked at her reflection. Then a slow, proud smile radiated her face.