“Mama, I’m gwateful for you,” she says, holding my arms as she looks up at me with her big brown eyes. If only I remembered this moment and how it filled my heart before snapping at her for losing my keepsake earring the next day. Of course, the thoughts that help me make better choices always come at night, when she’s fast asleep and when I’m feeling the kind of guilt that keeps me awake till 2 in the morning. I sigh as I pull down my eye mask, putting it over my eyes as a comforting insulation between me and all things difficult. I pray and ask Allah to help me do better tomorrow. I commit to doing better tomorrow, even if it means sticking post-it notes in places where I tend to lose my patience.
“Create a relaxed environment.” This one will be in our homeschool room. “Slow down the morning routine.” This needs to be right next to my bed. “Let her eat without commenting.” Put this right next to the dinner table.
Even if we still have friction tomorrow, I feel armed and ready with my post-it note plan to help us have a better day.
As I was praying dhuhr a few days ago, I felt myself sinking into thoughts about whether I was doing “enough”. Am I teaching my little daughter everything I need to? Will she thrive as she grows or will she have a lot of unlearning to do because of my mistakes? Will her childhood memories be overwhelmingly positive or less so? Will she know enough about her Creator to turn to Him out of love and awe in any stage of her life?
As I stood in salah, wondering what “enough” looks like, I overheard her playing gently with her stuffies, putting them in one-by-one into her cardboard “car”, asking each stuffy if he/she felt comfortable in their pretend carseats. She prayed and read the travel du’a for her stuffies just as we always recite when we’re buckling up in the car. She even went upstairs to grab an extra blanket to keep her stuffies warm as she got ready to pull them through the living room on her pretend drive to school.
In this simple moment of play, I felt her her concern for others’ well-being, even if they were stuffies. I felt her spiritual self-guided connection with her Creator. I heard her mimic the habits I’ve wanted to instil in her. I saw how she adds warmth and love in everything she does.
It was as if Allah was showing me the glowing rays of my broken efforts in this moment. All I can do is put in my honest effort, and leave the rest to the One who created her and guides her just as He guides me. In this moment, I was seeing what enough looks like and perhaps this view appears when least expect it.
Even on days when my sense of “being enough” is shaken, I want to cling to this feeling and remind myself to look for the rays that pour through the clouds, showing me the glow emanating from pieces of my struggle, sustained by His help.