I’ve been waiting eagerly all year for two very exciting events to take place: Ramadan and the birth of Amani. Little did I know that when both coincided, they would compete for my attention and energy in ways I never imagined.
Majority of the Ramadans during my married life, I’ve been either pregnant or nursing. I can count on a single hand the number of times I fasted along with everyone else during the past nine and a half years.
Jenin was only a few months, perhaps 2 or 3, when I missed my first ever Eid prayer. I was weary from the uncelebrated effects of new motherhood, sleepless nights and postpartum hormone induced mood swings. I was in no condition to attend early morning prayer service with a newborn in tow. Instead, my husband headed out alone, all fresh and dressed up, while I slipped back into bed weeping and with bags under my eyes.
Fast forward to Ramadan 2014. Amani is nearly 2 months at the start of Ramadan. I’m shocked at how quickly Ramadan crept up on me this year. Last year, not yet pregnant, I had it all together. Ramadan traditions, decorations, Tarawih, nightly Ramadan prayers, traditional Ramadan desserts, acts of charity and kindness, dinner parties, Eid clothes,Eid gifts… all of it, I was on top of it all. This year? This year I was lucky to have my wall calendar on the right month, never mind the fact that I was 2 weeks behind on crossing off days.
I had all my intentions in order. All my Ramadan goals in place. There was no need to compete with myself with my last Ramadan. That was history. Beautiful, orderly history. But this year, I’ve reached the end of Ramadan and have found myself wondering where it went?
It was tucked into drawers of folded and refolded newborn clothes that my daughters used as doll clothes. It was wiped off of walls that were drawn on while I nursed the baby. It rode along with me as I endured traffic and the wails of a car seat hating newborn, to pick up or drop off my daughters for their Ramadan summer camp. It was boxed up as donations of excess toys and clutter that a sleep deprived mama couldn’t handle having around anymore. It shone in Amani’s smile as her sisters sung to her while I prepared iftar, post sunset meal, for my husband. It awoke me just before Fajr every morning in the cries of a hungry baby needing her own suhoor, predawn meal.
Every single day during this month of Ramadan, I have been in service to my family, especially my little Amani. Through this, I have found myself in service to my Lord. Allah, the most High, that has placed paradise at my feet precisely for all that I do for my family for His sake and His pleasure.
My Ramadan may not have looked like your Ramadan, but I bid adieu to this holy and precious month knowing that I will be rewarded for the good intentions I was never able to act upon because I was too busy worshiping Him in other ways.
“My first Ramadan” onesie available from Lantern Court.