Today was one of those cranky days. I woke up after an up-and-down night with a fussy baby. A stuffy nose makes him wakeful. Actually, he doesn’t need an excuse. He’s just cranky by nature right now. Probably a growth spurt. I fumbled through the morning routine, getting kids off to school and hubby off the work, grumbling a bit to myself that I never get to take a morning off. Grumble, grumble. My husband was preoccupied with family issues, and that meant he was cranky. We just kind of salaamed each other and went our separate ways. I knew he wasn’t mad at me, but each of us seeing the other kind of down was like a positive negative reinforcement. A bummer day squared.
So, we muddled through, more frowns than smiles, cranky wakeful baby for me, busy day going ten different directions for him. Then my kids came home from school, and my oldest, usually a ray of sunshine, was similarly in a, shall we say, noncommunicative state. His mood did not improve when I handed him the baby so I could go on a vital shopping trip. Even promises of a bag of chips did not mollify him.
Cranky in the car, cranky in the parking lot, cranky through the aisles. I was thinking grouchily that I had to rush home and then immediately cook something for the family that would be more hungry by the time I arrived. Grumble, grumble….
Eventually I made it to the checkstand. I had checked out with this young man before, Daniel. He was a normal-looking guy with straight long brown hair caught in a loose ponytail. He smiled, made small talk. He asked me about my hijab. ”Excuse me, and I apologize, please don’t take offense, but doesn’t that get hot?”. I gave my usual answer; I grew up in Oklahoma so I’m used to hot, and I’ve been wearing my hijab for so long I don’t even think about it. We continued to chat and he talked about his own spirituality, and I shared a bit with him. I left the store with a smile and in a much better mood, energized enough to hit the door with a bit of energy so I could bring in the groceries, whip up a quick simple dinner – grilled cheese and Ramen noodles – and wash dishes and direct the kids in their toy cleanup. I made a concoction of tea, sage, black seed, ginger, and honey for the sore throats. I’m going to dose up my hubby with medicine before he goes to bed, and I’m going to try to do a little work, either knitting or crochet, before I go to bed.
The day ended better than it started, so I’d just like to give a shoutout and thank Daniel for being courteous and kind. May Allah give him hedayah, Ameen.