Alhamdulillah. For everything.
Today, my oldest sons are on the cusp of completing twenty one years, inshaAllah. Whilst a big deal is made in Western culture of reaching a 21st birthday, I don’t celebrate them as such but I do acknowledge that a year is another milestone reached. How could I not when I am a mother and first witness to their journeys through this world? On my sons’ birthday, I feel I am looking in on their lives with a Zoetrope. It is a wonderful show to watch.
As I commented last year, birthdays are not just for those counting the years they have existed in this world. In the background, are the mothers who smile on from the stage wings out of sight whilst the spotlight shines on the birthday individual. But I’ve already spoken about that.
Today, I want to take the opportunity to thank Allah again for giving me the joyful experience of motherhood. This cherished role is what inspired my blog in the first place. My sons have all been wonderful companions in these past twenty plus years and of all the things I have achieved in this life, being witness to their maturity and personal achievements surpasses anything else. It would seem logical to say that I have been able to impart wisdom onto them as they move through life especially in my role as mother. Alhamdulillah, I’d like to think I have.
However, it is also true that they have shared their wisdom with me. Not one, not twice but many times. I firmly believe that their ability to do so comes from a combination of factors but not least their firm roots in their Islamic identity and a life that has enabled them to experience much more than many of their peers. I cherish those moments we’ve had together talking about everything and anything. They’ve been opportunities where we have all been able to be free and unfettered and yet respectful and responsible. Is it even possible to be all those things at once? I think so. I’ve seen it myself with my sons.
If anyone stumbles across this post and is a parent themselves, my strong advice is to remember to learn from your children too. Lessons to be understood are not always from older to younger or the more experienced to the less experienced. I have had many moments when my sons have forced me to stop in my tracks and rethink my ideas or plans. When they have done so, I’ve always been grateful for their insights, Alhamdulillah.
Of course, nobody knows their future but if we all continue to live for a good few years yet, I look forward to many more memorable experiences with my sons. Perhaps one day they might even convince me that anime as a genre of entertainment needs serious consideration on my part. But for now, even without them scoring success on that part, I am grateful that I can still relate to some of the things they talk about and they can too of me. It’s nice to come off my maternal pedestal every now and then, and sit with them, so to speak, at the level they are at. And I don’t mean that in a haughty or derogratory sense. As I find myself looking at the young men they have become, I am in awe that they are my sons, Alhamdulillah.
My musings today are brief. However, that’s not to say that lots of things are not floating in my mind. There are. But some of them are best held at bay for fear of ruining a good thing. For now, I will let them be jettisoned into a vortex of other emotions.