NP - Akon - Mr. Lonely
This is Saif's Christmas Bear. Saif is at that age where hes just started walking. Hes a fat, cute little kid, cute in that imperfect way. But today's blog post isnt about Saif, its about his slightly older sister, 6aif.
Every day bar sundays, the Islamic Society at my university have free iftars, and on Saturdays they're big events - on Saturdays its not just for students, its for the Islamic community in the surrounding area. Everything is free, and they live off donations, and alhamdulillah they get enough to keep going. Anyway, because its a community event, families come. And families bring kids.
try to picture this: you have to feed some 300 people, including a couple dozen crazy, hyperactive children. What they usually do is get the kids in a separate room and try to keep them entertained (and out of the way).
Yesterday, I was asked to help out - preparing tea, plates of biscuits, etc. I was by myself, so it was hectic, especially since the timing had to be just right, as well as the fact that we had a slight problem with food distribution and so there were no extra hands to help get the job done quicker. But I got it done without disaster. Just when I think I'm done, one of the sisters comes in and asks me to give her a hand with the kids. So I go to the room with the kids and its a bloody nightmare. I said to myself right then 'Z, dont ever ever have kids'.
So I'm helping out for a while, keeping them under control, until they eventually settle down somewhat. The sister gets their attention, and most of them, while still noisy, are at least under control. But theres this one kid, a little girl whos standing in the corner. Shes so quite, and shes got this sad, sad look in her eyes. Shes standing there in the corner next to the door, just looking slightly scared. So I go to her and ask her her name. She looks at me, and quickly looks away. I keep trying to talk to her, and she refuses to look at me, instead focusing on something in the distance. She still has that worried look in her eyes. Eventually she responds to me (still averting her eyes). She whispers! She whispers so quietly, its like the movement of leaves in wind, I can barely hear her at all! When I ask her name, I can just finally hear '6aif'. I say to her 'lets go for a ride little girl, this place is too loud'.
I take 6aif's hand - such tiny hands! - and step out of the room. Its quiet outside - theres nobody in the corridor. I take her around, and I decide to take her into the kitchen (its fairly quiet because taraweeh is going on and theres no food being served). We need to go downstairs, so I pick her up. She makes no effort to resist, but at the same time she doesnt hold on or anything. Shes just completely passive to me, a stranger, picking her up and taking her into alien areas without her mommy or Saif or anyone. In the kitchen, a couple of of my Malaysian friends are there, and I 'introduce' them :p. Then I take 6aif outside, where its just so quite. The weather's wonderful, slightly chilly but still and dry. The girl just keeps looking up at the sky.
'Dont you think its beautiful?' I say to her..she just nods. After a few minutes I take her back in, and my friend Nadia is there. I give 6aif to Nadia, and in her arms 6aif starts rubbing her eyes. She starts falling asleep in Nadias arms, so Nadia tells me to take 6aif back quick (cause shes got some work to do). So I take her back and go back upstairs.
I ask her if she wants to sleep, and she nods. So I find an empty room, turn of the lights, sit down and wait for her to go to sleep. Bear in mind this is probably the longest time I've ever spent with a child. Im never had any experience with children - they scare me, they're unpredictable. Shes in my arms, rubbing her eyes furiously, and I get a bit worried. Is that healthy? So I stop her, and try to get her to just relax and try to sleep. After a few minutes I think maybe shes not comfortable (I'm a guy - our bodies are not made to provide comfort to children), so I do the best I can in that situation - I lay her down on a table and rest my arm under her head, to act as some kind of pillow. I'm frantic here - what the hell am I supposed to do! I cant stick around while this kid falls asleep. But at the same time I'm absolutely touched that this child, 6aif, has accepted me. For the next fifteen minutes or so shes lying still trying to sleep and I'm feeling both frantic and full of something I've not really experienced before.
She speaks unprovoked for the first time - she wants to go back with the other girls. She doesnt want to/cant sleep. So I pick her up, and this time she holds me. She trusts me...she's accepted me. I take her to back to the kids and leave. About an hour later I see her running around having fun, and her mom comes and picks her up, and thats it.
But that girl touched me, man. At the beginning I was like 'dont ever have kids' now Im like 'argghh i want kids!' Theyre just something special. Paternal instincts kicking in? Maybe :p
Posted by illogicist at 5:30 AM