What time is it? I ask my son for the umpteenth time. I’m counting every minute lately, and still I’m racing, racing, racing with the clock as it tick, tick, ticks away. I’m juggling laundry and making Eid sweets, making sure there is something for everyone at iftar time, helping my kids with homework, the baby is on my constant tail, tugging at my skirt. My daughter announces she needs to take a token gift for her classmates (we decide to remold old crayons), the boys need to be dropped off at basketball practice. The baby has found the coconut flakes in the pantry and now it looks like it has snowed all over my kitchen floor. My sister-in-law (I have 5) called to ask if I’d edit her son’s college essay, and another to ask for help in hanging her new curtains. My mother-in-law needs me to package a parcel for her so that she can airmail it. The baby is helping to unfold the laundry I’ve just folded.
What time is it? My son, God bless him, reminds me to pray as I rush from one activity to another. Every minute counts. Still, I pause every now and then and say dua’a, make tasbeeh. I’m trying to be quick and efficient but even Superman takes breaks. The baby poops. My nine year old discovers that his Eid pants are kind of tight. My eldest decided to sew his father a Eid gift. Scraps of fabric litter the house.
I read a couple of pages of Qur’an before my son asks me to test him on his dictation. There are crayons melting in a can besides a pot of spaghetti. The baby overturns the garbage can in search of his dirty diapers (he loves to sniff them). There are less than ten minutes until iftar time, I holler to no one in particular, “clear the table!,” as I start dishing out meals. We mold a few more heart shaped crayons, I load the dishwasher and miraculously the table is cleared. A few minutes of relative calm set in as we thank Allah for His gifts, for His blessings, for this meal. Then, I’m racing on once more.
Eid ul-Adha is two days away. These days are holy days, I set out to recite the entire Qur’an during these ten very special days, but got only as far as the 6th chapter. I intended to visit some of my elderly relations, but never got out the door. I resolved to read an entire book of supplications but wound up skimming through it. Alhamduliilah. I make tasbeeh while driving to pick up the boys from practice and I pick up some groceries too.
Bed time rolls around, my daughter has 30 heart shaped crayons packaged festively, the Eid pants now fit, my sister-in-law’s curtains are hung, and the college essay complete. Iftar dishes are washed and loaded, the airmail parcel ready to go, sewing scraps collected, snow gone from my kitchen floor, the overturned garbage upright once more, laundry has been refolded and put away, the sweets complete. The baby is too tired to do more than roll over.
I make isha’ prayer and remember to thank Allah for the blessing of a family who keeps me on my toes, and running. To thank Him for a Eid that finds us all healthy and happy (if tired), for a son that reminds me about my prayers, for a baby whose cries often beat my alarm clock to get me up in time for fajr, for a daughter who is content with homemade, recycled gifts, and for a husband who can overlook the indoor snow storm.
Eid ul-Adha is only one more day away. I make one final dua’a, recite a few short (very short) surahs before bed. Tomorrow is tick, tick, ticking closer. Bring it on!
Hanan is a mother of four who enjoys reading, writing, and thinking of new ways to challenge her kids.