It’s fajr time, and for today at least I have kept my resolve not to dig back under the covers. I take a deep breath, a long sip of coffee, and enjoy the peace of silence―a sound that has become almost alien since the school year has ended and summer begun.
I make resolutions all the time. Today I’ll start reading a whole juzu’ of Quran a day, and I’ll walk an hour on the treadmill. I won’t eat any junk. I’ll pray jama3a more often. I’ll involve my kids in the activities I’m doing. I’ll remain calm all day…so easy to make them….almost as easy as it is to break them.
And so I made a new resolution. Make small changes. I started real simple―try saying yes more often. I gave my kids a list of must do’s for summer: 100 jumps, 15 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes each of reading Quran, Arabic, & English, at least one hobby related activity a day, and at least one major chore.
They say, “Mom want me to read you a book?” My knee jerk reaction is “No, I’m folding laundry,” but I stop myself in time. I can fold and listen at the same time, can’t I? “Yes,” I say.
My oldest says, “Mom want to pray Jama3a?” “Yes!”
“Want to have a contest who can jump the most?” “You Bet!” (We’ve gotten to 250 jumps a go so far)
“Need help?” “Do I ever! I need someone to match socks and someone to put away the dishwasher.”
“Wanna help me read my quran Mom?” “Sure do.”
I hear my husband getting ready for work after salat. He says, “Want some coffee?” I start to pull the covers over my head, but then remember to say yes―even halfheartedly. So I’m up.
And before I know it, many of my resolutions are being kept, and I’m happier because I’m liking these changes. And being happier, puts me in a good mood which leads to a positive attitude, which leads to me being calmer when my kids’ disputes flare. They sense this calmness and it affects them. I give a look, a nudge, a shake of my head, a loud sigh, and then a longer stare. They get the hint, and resolve their own issues in a quiet (well, quieter than usual) manner.
What do you know….there’s another of my resolutions kept! Subhanallah!
Hanan is a mother of four who enjoys reading, writing, and thinking of new ways to challenge her kids.