Watching my boys swim in the leisure pool, I turn to my husband Yusuf and say, “There’s nothing like watching them play in the pool. They’re so innocent, sweet and carefree. They’re all smiles! It’s so refreshing just to witness their playfulness while they’re splashing in the water.”
Yusuf throws me a puzzled look. I guess he doesn’t see it the same way I do.
I cherish these moments when I can watch my kids whether they are swimming, playing soccer, skateboarding, biking or even reading. Sometimes the room will be quiet because they are both reading and then suddenly one of them will exclaim, “Mama, listen to this!” And he’ll proceed to read aloud a passage that has touched or tickled him. He wants me to hear it and feel the same impact.
It hits me from time to time that one day they might not want to do these kinds of things. My older son Zayd has been pleading with me to buy a bicycle for myself so we can go biking together. Embarrassingly enough, I keep postponing this purchase, searching for the right time and the right bike! The thought that soon he may no longer want or ask for my accompaniment distresses me. Then I tell myself, I really should get a bike even if it’s not my dream bike!Recently, I took two days off work to be home with Zayd when he was sick. I realized then how precious one-on-one time with him is. These two days gave us a chance to bond in a different way. We played hang-man while waiting at the doctor’s office; we listened to his favourite songs together; we talked about high school over lunch; we prayed together. Having this time with him without the distractions of our regular daily routines gave me the opportunity to pause and see him in a new light. These days he is growing and changing so quickly right before my eyes. I am grateful for having caught a closer glimpse of this boy of mine who has ma sha Allah developed into a young man.
A friend once told me that as parents we should make it a priority to do one-on-one outings with our children so that our children feel how special they are as individuals. I discovered another dimension to this argument: These moments are special for us mothers too.
Mayce Ibraheem lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two sons.