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.
I have mismatched forks and spoons (as well as strands of metal beads) littered throughout my house, in all my drawers, everywhere. When we have a people over, or try to set a nice table, one of my husband’s pet peeves is that we never have a full set of cutlery, and what we have is mismatched. We go through boxes of plastic cutlery, because we can never find enough metal forks and spoons to use.
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.”