Another Eid, Another Scramble

Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
Eid al Adha is rapidly approaching.  Where did the time go?  I thought the first Eid was just over.  The bounce house, the visitors, the food, the hyperactive children running through the yard?  And now, a mere three days from now, I have to muster the strength to wake up early and dress five children and shepherd them to an Eid prayer I won’t even hear before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee.

The Eids always catch me unaware.  Every year I promise myself that I will be prepared, that I will make this Eid the most special Eid that any child ever celebrated.  I will purchase the most lovely dress for my daughter and the most handsome suits for my sons.  I will cut their hair.  I will make sure the car seats are in the van the night before.  I will bring three changes of clothes and an entire pack of diapers for the baby.  I will live up to my moniker of Supermom.  And each year, I fail miserably.

I told my husband just yesterday, with the time ticking down on the Eid shopping clock, that I needed to buy outfits for the kids.  “Fine,” he says.  “When you go grocery shopping, instead of buying the normal amount, just shop lightly and then use what you save to buy outfits for the kids.”  This is a man who does not shop.  This is a man who does not understand that there is no such thing as shopping lightly for three adults, five children, and four cats.  Not to mention my son needs extra food for a “Latin feast” his language class is having on Friday.  Latin as in ancient Rome, not Latin as in Latin America.  Grapes, cheese, juice.  Not a huge grocery budget buster, but still.

Every year I commit to budgeting for the Eid.  Clothing, the sacrificial animal,  food for the barbecue.  Every year something happens to throw my plans off.  The car breaks down, the computer breathes its last,  someone gets sick or needs an emergency procedure to remove a plastic toy solider from his nose.  I actually did pretty good for myself, having bid on and won a couple of really nice abayas on eBay, but now I have to scramble to find nice outfits for the kids and explain to the hubby that no, it’s not okay to let them go to the Eid prayer in blue jeans and a Power Rangers t-shirt.  Even if they have a hoodie on over it.  Why not a nice galabiyyah? you ask.  Well, we are always on the verge of “going to Egypt” and I always tell myself I’ll buy galabiyyahs by the suitcaseful for the kids when we are there.  I hate having to spend American retail prices on something they’ll outgrow in four months.  So since the Egypt trip keeps getting put off – you know, revolution can throw such a monkey wrench into one’s plans – I never have gotten around to buying any.

So today I’ll shop for suits for the kids and a dress for our princess.  The boys’ suits are actually pretty easy.  They sell complete outfits at a big bargain retailer, shirt, tie, vest, and pants.  My boys will look like proper gentlemen for as long as I can keep them from untucking their shirts and using their ties as combat weapons.  Our daughter, our three year old only girl apple of her father’s eye daughter, well, that’s another story.  I have to find The Perfect Dress, so I have a feeling much of my day off today is going to be spent lost amid racks of frothy frilly lacy girl things.  And that’s okay.  Soon enough she’ll be in abayas and hijab.

I’ve had my coffee, the husband is off on an errand and soon will return so I can break the news to him that I’m going to be spending more money today, and now I have to mentally prepare for Sunday.  First thing:  remember we go off daylight savings time and set our clocks back one hour Saturday night.  Second thing:  set aside the underwear and matching socks today so I won’t have to do it half asleep in the early morning on Sunday.  Third thing: call the masjid to make sure what time the Eid prayer starts because asking my husband for the time will result in us arriving directly after the prayer when everyone is spilling out into the parking lot.  How is it that the man who goes to the masjid to pray or for a class several times a week, can never, ever ask in advance what time the Eid prayer is so I have to call the masjid ten times waiting for them to update the message on the answering machine?  Fourth thing:  put the address for the Eid prayer into the GPS because even though we have prayed at the same place for the last four years, my husband will get lost without directions.  Fifth thing:  I’m sure there’s a fifth thing, but I’ve only had one cup of coffee so far this morning and there’s laundry to do, and beds to make, and dishes to wash, not to mention a cute little man sitting next to me in his highchair smearing himself with yogurt that I have to deal with.  So that’s where I’ll leave it for now.  Oh, and hubby is back, so time for that nice little conversation about shopping.

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