I never knew about the phrase above until my sons made me aware of its meaning.
For the last six years, we have managed to buy our own milk and returned many times, Alhamdulillah.
Tomorrow is going to be a pensive day for my sons as father is finally returning for a short but unwelcome visit. I usually don’t write with this much candour and raw emotions but I am deeply concerned about the mental health of my sons. This visit was not planned with any consultation with them – about their own schedules or preferences. With a typical arrogance, they were simply told about the upcoming event and even then, they had to painfully extract details. It’s so shocking that a person cannot read the signs of unrequited love. But, given their allegiance is to their Islamic faith, my sons know that they will at least agree to meet with their father to fulfil his rights over them. What they cannot offer however, is any emotional attachment to him. It will be a very perfunctory encounter on their part.
As a parent, I cannot imagine turning my back on my children because I need to pursue something evidently greater and more important than them. This is what separates a mother from a father. I know there are mothers who have acted horribly too but statistics show they are not the norm.
My own frustration is that absentee parents can waltz in at their whims and expect to receive an update of several years in several days. What about all the details that are inevtiably left out? What happens when the whirlwind visit is over and the detritus left behind is for the others to pick and clean up? It’s shockingly selfish.
I have witnessed every single day of my sons’ lives and been their support for all things academic, financial, emotional, physical and spiritual. Needless to say, Allah has been the One we have all collectively depended on in turn. So, when a parent decides to show up when it is convenient for themselves, and leave when it is also convenient for themselves, it is nothing more than a great source of irritation and anger.
For myself, as time passes, so too does the emotional gap between the past and present. This upcoming visit, though I will not be involved, does nothing but cause painful memories to be dredged up from the stagnant floor of my mind. I would much rather they stayed right there and become ossified with time.
So, in anticipation of what the next couple of weeks are to bring, I am on standby with an even greater alacrity, poised for the deluge of anger, frustration and sadness that my sons will invariably relay back to me after the whirlwind has passed through.
Maybe we didn’t want that milk after all…