Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
Well, I am happy to report that the second half of our first day of Eid went very well, so we managed to string together a really good day, alhamdulillah. We relaxed at home for a while and then piled everyone in the car to head to the park. First hiccup in the day; hubby had misread his email and we weren’t supposed to have a day at the “park” but rather a day at a place called Funland in a shopping center named “Central Park”. Well, there was a park in there somewhere so he got it half right. So we swung by the park and realized there were no Muslims there, he re-read his email (in Arabic or I would have read it and there never would have been this issue in the first place) and then drove on to the correct destination.
Funland. What can I tell you about Funland? Well, it’s loud. Imagine a large facility with an indoor roller coaster and tons of beeping, booping, screeching and wailing video games. Add to that a couple of hundred beeping, booping, screeching and wailing children, teenagers, and parents and you get immediate sensory overload. It was nice to see men in beards (most with conspicuous Bluetooth hookups sprouting from their ears) and hijaabed and niqaabed women dominating the building. It was not so great to try to navigate around with an elderly man and five children. Add to that the extremely high prices for pretty much all the games and you have a short visit for the Shehata family. Even the kids were pretty happy to get out of there. We stayed about 45 minutes or so, enough for some matchups at air hockey and a few other games the younger kids could enjoy. Then we decamped for dinner.
Dinner was a huge success. We ate at a local buffet and the kids probably would not remember one bite of anything until dessert, which featured a chocolate waterfall. Yes, a chocolate waterfall. I need say no more. We gave our waiter a generous tip to offset the major cleanup necessitated by our toddler. I went through a pretty big stack of paper napkins dipped in my ice water (yes, all you moms know about the drinking-water-and-paper-napkin cleanup) to get the worst of the chocolate off my son, and I was saying alhamdulillah that we had changed out of our Eid finery before leaving the house. Even after we returned home I was finding chocolate in, shall we say, unusual parts of my son’s anatomy.
Eid is three days, so we want to keep the spirit going today and tomorrow. I think today after the kids get home from school I’ll give them a lesson on the Eid and the Hajj and let them watch videos of the pilgrims in Makkah. The weather is mashaAllah lovely so I’ll toss them all out in the yard to get some fresh air and vitamin D. Dinner is currently bubbling on the stove and I have the windows open to enjoy the sound of birds singing. I’m so grateful that I have a home, and food, and my family close. We are truly blessed. I pray that all my brothers and sisters in Islam can enjoy the Eid and that the coming year brings blessings. Remember to ask Allah for help and never give up striving to be close to Him. Even if we are not among those making Hajj this year, we can work towards that goal and someday inshaAllah we will be the ones in ihram garments standing at Arafat. Fi Aman Allah.