I spent a great deal of time with my children this summer. By time I mean one on one time getting to know them. Not the time I spend turbo driving from one summer event to another. Due to family health issues, we were not able to move about in our usual turbo speeds. Usually our summers are full of basketball, swimming, soccer, Islamic school, art & science camps, and endless outdoor play.
This summer we slowed down. A lot. For us, we spent a significant amount of time at home. Time spent snuggling, reading Quran, listening to Islamic stories, taking afternoon naps, doing Legos, Ramadaan training, and taking lessons from the Olympics. It was restful and very satisfying. In fact, it was the best summer ever for my children’s spiritual and emotional development.This summer, I saw my children grow and develop in a way I never witnessed before. I noticed a deeper sense of sibling love, compassion, parental empathy, and self-initiating chores around the home.
Sometimes, we spend so much time carting our children from place to place, we forget to spend time fostering our parent-child relationship. When was the last time, you put aside all life’s thoughts and enjoyed a board game with your little ones? They sense when we are not fully there. I notice when I give my children my undivided attention,they demonstrate more confidence in their choices and feel more secure when they are not around me. After all the books I’ve read and all the classes we’ve taken, how could I have missed this valuable lesson? It happens. You want so much to do everything for your kids, sometimes, you just do too much. In the end, everyone is worn out and the outcomes are not always what we expect.
I thank Allah SWT, for putting me in a circumstance that I was able to see the pitfalls and somewhat recover for lost time. This school year, we have decreased our extracurricular activities so that we can have some quality time together at the end of the day. Time to review Quran, read adventure stories, and just listen to each other share random thoughts. As time goes by, we may not have this luxury .
Each year my youngest child has a difficult time adjusting to school and cries often. However, this year, my little one finally had the confidence and security to give me a hug and rush off to the play area. So far, the first few days of school have been great for them. Despite illness, this summer, I think I finally did my job right. Alhamdullilah.
Now, all I have to do is get over MY first day school blues. I miss them dearly.
Sarah Ibrahim is a loving mother of two budding mountain climbers. She enjoys healthy cooking, reading and finding creative ways for family exercise!