By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
A friend of mine recently wrote about her son:
“There are moments in parenting that break your heart open with boundless love, where you see your child so clearly navigating their own space… a funny mix of pride, empathy and fall-over-yourself love and gratitude for the gift of your child ensues, followed by tears….watching Wilder walk up to a new friend on the playground at a new school and navigate the space between shy and easy was just such… thank you universe for giving me that moment.”
I know what she means. Earlier this morning I told my daughter Salma a joke and she gave me a smile as sweet as a mango that made my heart melt. And just now she climbed into the chair next to mine and said, “Baba, cover your eyes.” I did but I peeked between my fingers because sometimes she leaps onto me full bore, with her knees pointed at me, as if I’m a trampoline. But this time she climbed into my lap, and kissed me on the cheek.
Of course she followed it up by telling me she was bored, and asking me to buy her a new doll. Still, having this child has taught me to love as I never did before. I have learned patience, sacrifice, and aspiration, not for myself but for another.
I recently listened to a lecture by Umm Sahl of Damascus in which she remarked that our children do not belong us, but to Allah. They are given to us in trust, and we are their shepherds.
I can see that. How could I own or possess something so beautiful, and powerful, so unique? No one but Allah can hold a human being in their hand, seeing the essence of that person, knowing and appreciating every atom.
What a tremendous responsibility a child is. What a tremendous gift. May Allah make us all equal to the task, and help us to fulfill our roles as shepherds, providing tarbiyah and love, and ushering in a better generation than our own, Insha’Allah.