This is what I say every morning, without fail for the past nine years, as I’ve woken up one, then two and now three children for school. It’s become a routine, something that comforts all of them, even when they are grumpy, whiny or tired and not wanting to get up – a good morning greeting followed by the kalma, or shahada, which is a Muslim’s declaration of faith. (Often one of the first things Muslim parents teach to their children.)
Lil D and his sister wake first (around 6:15 a.m.), since their busses respectively come at 7:05 and 7:11 a.m. Hamza, if I’m lucky, sleeps through the initial morning rush, and then I wake him and get him ready for preschool. This morning, I woke Amal (my daughter) first, as my husband said he would drop Lil D off.
After she left, I woke up Lil D and helped him get ready – go to the bathroom, wash his hands and face, clean his teeth, change his clothes (all done with my assistance and gesture prompting to him). We headed downstairs, and I began preparing his breakfast.
That’s when I had my comedic autism moment. See the picture to the right? All those different types of forks and spoons? That’s Lil D’s All Time Favorite persevative habit – he loves to twirl beads on the stems of forks and spoons (and toothbrushes, hairbrushes and pencils/pens). He’ll spend the better part of the day taking one fork, then abandoning it for a spoon, then putting that in a drawer and taking a wooden spoon, then putting that down and grabbing a pencil, then going in the bathroom and trying to grab one of our toothbrushes (it’s why toothbrushes are usually hidden in this house) – all for the twirling of his beads.
So, to all my friends whom we have ever visited (with Lil D in tow), here in town or out of town, to the few restaurants we have eaten at with him (and there are a precious few), if you are missing a fork or spoon, chances are I have it. Come and claim it. In fact, be happy – the fact that Lil D went through your drawers means he was comfortable in your house. And, if you find beads in your house, consider it a sign:
“Lil D was here.”