You’re hardly sweet pffft. I look at you and I still marvel in your stubbornness, wit and intelligence. From the first day I layed eyes on you, you never let me out of your sight. I was the cow and you were my calf. Yep, that’s exactly how it went down.😂 We were joined at the hip and it was very difficult to leave you anywhere. You hated driving and used to cry all the way to Cavendish and back home. The minute you couldn’t see me, you would bring the house down!💣💣 I had to take you everywhere I went…yep even the toilet😫
All curly and Girly💗
I remember trying desperately to wean you and having to go on a week long business trip, I thought this is it, I’m finally going to get back my precious body parts😊 But a week of discomfort was quickly forgotten the minute I picked your tiny body up and you moaned into my chest. I was lost, all resolved caved and I was back to being your nurturer. And I’ll do it all over again!
Your creche days lasted all but 5 days😏 And I’m grateful to have gotten the most caring nanny in the world! Shukran Maya, we’ll always be grateful for you. You’re part of the reason why Yumnah is the young woman she is today😘
People say you’re the split image of me growing up and I believe that now. I can certainly see the strong minded, opinionated, stubborn and ambitious young girl growing up to be one helluva force to be reckon with. You’re gorgeous my POP LAP, and I’ll Love you forever. 💚💚💗💗
Remember…Love deeply, don’t settle, respect your siblings and parents and stay true to yourself. I thank the Almighty for granting you another year, and I wish you a prosperous life. You’re beautiful my Love💗
I have so much to tell but don’t know how to put things in perspective. I think I generally fail in that area. Maybe because I think too much and then I end up stuck in between the jungle of thoughts and cannot clearly decipher or work myself out of it.
When I get to this junction, I normally write. I just write and write and not necessarily in any order. I have no qualms about full stops, commas or over using dot dot dot. I don’t write for an accolade. I write because I write better than what I talk. And I think most people do. Writing gives you that extra second to think, it gives you the opportunity to say something in a better way, in an eloquent way, it gives you the added bonus of adding emotions to a story.
Long long ago there was a frog and a princess..naaah its not one of those stories. This is so cool, it’s so cool to do what you want and to say what you want, but I promised my son that I’m not writing soppy stories anymore and it’s not going to be soppy!
So it’s just going to bits and bops of The Last Year🙋
Ethan The Warrior
The day I learnt of your coming, was a sad day, but unknowingly then, you were going to give me the strength to face all my fears. And oh dear, let’s just add that I was really not ready to be a granny😱 I used to take pride in not being granny at my age, but God had his own plans.
He’s more like MY warrior💗💗 He was my sunshine in the rain. For once in my life, I could lean on someone else and not once did that little, tiny person turn his back on me. I used to get high on just sniffing him and snuggling up to his warm, soft cheeks and get lost in his toothless smile. I love you Ethan, you are Nana’s “hart se punt”. Sadly you stripped your daddy from his title😘
This song of Teddy Pendergrass explains how I feel about you
And when you walked into my life
Suddenly I knew
All the love I had inside
Was leading me to you
Our new Adventure
It’s so difficult to say how children will take to a divorce. People say, when they small, they don’t remember much they easily forget and that it’s more difficult when they’re bigger, older. I always say that I cannot agree to something if I haven’t gone through and experienced it myself. I let logic decide and if it adds up, I accept it. Well I wish my experience was as easy as using logic. I lost it a couple of times, I was a walking emotional time bomb. I was afraid I was going to lose my kids to their father. I looked out for signs of betrayal, I believe I sometimes fabricated reasons to attack them. I cried in silence and the more I tried to stay sane, the more I felt broken. I didn’t know how to tell them that I’m scared of losing them and that I won’t survive if I should. I always only know how to be strong and I hated that I still wanted to be strong. I wanted to break down, I wanted to shout, hit someone, kick something, anything!
Yes, like every time bomb this one blew up but the result wasn’t devastating but rather bittersweet. It was moments of honesty, there was lotsa tears, revelations but most of all there was not a chance that I’ll ever lose my babies. They have my back and I’ll always have theirs. The moral of the story is that they love their father as much as they love me and this was never their battle. In fact I believe they suffer more than what we do.
The following gave me Hope, inspiration and Trust:
An extract from Will Power:💗
This is a matter of guidance from the creator and time healing and letting the scars close and be a reminder of how to conduct ourselves as future partners in a marriage and as parents. We were involved too much, we’ve seen too much and it’s still there. Visible and within remembrance. The worst is not Over, it’s still there. Everyone is at a point in their lives where they feel unloved, unrecognised, disregarded and unwanted. So we lashout, we forget, we display the same negative traits that we feel is being inflicted on us. I have always been proud of my mother. I have never disregarded your success and your achievements. I am the man I am because of you
(I still cry every time I read this. The worst is over my son, we’re on our road to recovery💚 I love you!)
An extract from Love:💞
I miss that when you would come home from work and make us food. And we would all eat as a family .
And thats really what meant alot to me .But when we left i forgot how many things count in my life .
You know you can leave that life behind but to think about the little things that matter ,thats hard .
So i became angry
Giving sarcastic statements
To not only you
But everyone around me
Being angry every day .
And i realised that’s not me !
I am that girl who still sleeps in her mothers arms .That girl who still needs to teach her dad how to take a selfie .
Thats me !
And i want to be me again .
So im starting with my mommy .
Im sorry mommy
Shukran mommy for everything you have done I will never forget that , and one day I will tell my kids my mommy was successfull and strong independent and Thats what I want to be really 💔 Shukran 💔❤
(Thank you poplap, and I’m sorry too.. you’re wise beyond your years)
And the man that always Persevere:😍
I Love you mumz, forever💗
(And one of few words….I love you too!)
And finally I can put that heartache behind me, behind all of us. Wake up and see the sun shining through my bedroom window. Thank God for what I have and for bestowing His infinite mercy on us. And I’m grateful for my good circle of friends who was there when I needed them🙋
I am no longer wearing my wellington boots, plowing through mud, I no longer have to question loyalty, I can trust in Love again.💜💜
And it’s the right time to organize a dream holiday overseas…maybe Europe, maybe Asia. It doesn’t matter, what matters is it’s another tick off the Bucket List! BOOM!!😍🙋
A place where you could find warmth, laughter, a warm plate of food and an abundance of love. 🙂
I feel if I could recapture those feelings, I would feel better, I’d feel happy again, but I know I can’t… I get sad thinking about an innocent childhood memory. Of not having lunch to school but thank God I always had great friends. Which brings me to my story..this story. Can you teach a hungry child? Will it make you happy to feed a child?
I think as you grow older, your perception of what happinesss is, changes. Life is more realistic, people can be shit , but there are also good people out there. People, you can look up to, who inspires you, who makes a difference, who gives..
Will this make us happy?
What makes you happy? Compared to what used to make you happy… What makes me happy is to be able to give back!
That is true happiness. Not so much losing your heart to someone, because you might lose yourself in that person and that’s not fulfilling..there’s no purpose in that..not really. That’s more of a personal nature, coupled with life’s complications.
Anyway, back to my point of giving…I genuinely feel that I’m doing something good when I give back and I haven’t done enough. I don’t think one can ever give enough. We’re all aware that people love a moan, but no one is prepared to do anything. The irritation of some people’s pointless statuses with regards to charity, on social media feels like watching a hamster on a wheel…pffft.
LET’S GIVE BACK!
I’ve met up with primary school buddies and they are a phenomenal bunch! They’re all inspiring in their own way. Some of them don’t even know it 🙂
What made an impact for me was their need to make a difference in society. To go back to where we all started and make a small difference for the underprivileged. The same society, we all came from. It’s awesome! I can’t wait to get going. Guys, you’ve inspired this story, whoop whoop 🙂
I remember my aunt coming to drop off my xmas clothes every year, without fail. It was of the finest. The frilly frock, with the matching patent leather shoes, finished off with a pretty bow. The very white vests with matching panties. Oh yes, you had to have new underwear, otherwise xmas won’t be xmas! And to finish it off, it was the silky matching ribbons! Oh I can still see it in my minds eye 🙂 I remember feeling very special, very loved and in need of nothing. Again, I am going to be all dolled up in matching ribbons tying up curls on each side of my head.
These are the memories that I have of feeling loved and not wanting of anything. I was fortunate in so many ways and yet growing up was always a struggle but as a child I remember always feeling that I want what I cannot have, that I want the luxury I saw my friends have, that I have very little in comparison to them, that what I have was incomplete, not enough.
Now isn’t that what we still experiencing today? The constant comparison to the next, the always wanting what you cannot have? Always moaning about how hard life is. And if only…if only I can earn more money, things would be better, life will be easier and we’ll live our dream life?
And yet, if you look around you will see so many things in your life that you should be grateful for. You have a cosy, warm home..maybe not kit out in the finest, but it’s a shelter so much better than what many out there can only dream of. Many that wished for a few minutes at your dining table, that wish for night under your comfortable, nice smelling blankets, to sit in front of your fireplace, to feel warm, to not feel hungry and cold. And yet we moan of the riches we have. That’s unfortunate, isn’t it. So when do we realize we have, and they don’t…
We just completed our month of fasting and yet only feel a speck of what they are feeling every single day of their lives. We’re sacrifice food and water between sunset and sunrise and rush home to prepare a feast. A warm pot of soup enjoyed with different kinds of savories. Different kinds of drinks and juices. And to end it off, a steamy plate of food. All this after a day of fasting.
Now tell me, where is the sacrifice? Yes, we have fulfilled one of the pillars of our religion, but have we fulfilled the other one? The one where we have to give to the less fortunate (Zakaah). Have we made the difference?
What’s giving? Giving comes in many forms. There’s giving in the form of money, parting with worldly things, giving food and then of course sharing of knowledge, to aspire to inspire. Giving in any form can be so rewarding
The soup kitchen is finally underway and some of the guys in the group has sacrificed their time to go and feed a couple hundred primary school children. I am so proud to be associated with them:-) It actually brought tears to my eyes, seeing the row of children, some of which never knew what it is to enjoy a hot cup of soup. Some who’s stomach has been growling for hours but could do nothing about it.
I remember standing in a queue myself for a pint of milk and a peanut butter sandwich..it was pure bliss..chocolate cake and milkshake on a rainy day! ja well, you then go back in the queue for another piece of chocolate cake 🙂
There isn’t enough of giving. There’s only taking. There’s a generation of entitlement, which means giving will become non-existent, more people starving, more malnourished children, a less educated society, an increase of poverty, no quality of life, a constant battle, life becomes hopeless, begging is the easier way, pride is only a word with no meaning.
These cauldron of events can be avoided if only we give, if only we make a difference to one child…. out of twenty. That’s a high odd, but imagine the domino effect it will have on that individual’s life. He/she will march forthwith and continue to make the difference and break free from the shackles of poverty! Thus creating a better society.
So let’s give 🙂
(I dedicate this story to all my buddies, the Givers.. Carl, Esmeralda, Loet, Naz, Francis, Danny, Jamielah, Shamiel, Levona, Colleen, Jackie, Felicia, Cathleen, Tyrone,Sadia, Cerona and the list goes on and on. You guys Rock 🙂 )
I promise this is going to be short. And I promise I’m not going to post funny baby pictures 🙂 …..NOT!
You’re finally an adult, whoop whoop! I can no longer call you my baby, sad isn’t it. Cos this only means I’m getting old 😦
Well that is the circle of life my son and one day, you’ll write a very similar memoir for your son 🙂
Happy 21st birthday Na-eem 🙂 I Love you long time. I don’t say it enough..one can’t say it enough, but should say it all the time! You are the son I always wanted. I pray that the Almighty grant you good health, Halaal rizq, Taqwa, always surround you with the cloak of Imaan, a long and prosperous Umr Inshallah… And Don’t stop dancing baby 🙂
One day, long,long ago on a surprisingly sunny winter’s day I was bouncing off the walls cos the Springboks won the world cup! Oh my word, was that a day forever ingrained in many memories, and a day to go down in history!! WE as a nation finally won our spot back onto the sporting arena, it was a day I will never forget and I’m sure many felt the same way. There proudly stood the one man that sincerely fought for freedom from the oppressors, the one man that showed continuous humility and dignity and with unwavering commitment to what is right. A man we all could learn from for he has surely played an integral part in making that unforgettable day possible. He sacrificed a lifetime so that we could enjoy the fruits of his sacrifice!
Green and gold was the colours of the day!!!
I was told you were coming a week earlier, pffft I never believed it though. Being a stickler for numbers and always wanting to be prepared, I did the math and you were to be born on the 27th of June 1995. Not a day sooner or a day later. I felt the first twinge whilst coming down from the euphoric feeling and marveling in the aftermath of victory.. of course I was prepared and knew I am going to meet you very soon 🙂
I knew you were going to be a boy, but didn’t share this knowledge with anyone. You proudly ” winked” at me during one of the scans and I smiled from ear to ear. It was meant to be and I thank God every single day for the blessing he bestowed upon me. Well, it was one of my hardest physical battles, omw! You refused to make an entrance. I prayed, I begged and even bargained with the doctor! But you had your own time, you knew when it was, you’ve planned it all along and you finally appeared and in a very dignified manner 🙂 These are the qualities that you possess. You know what you want, you know when to do it, you’re one of the most disciplined people I know and you’re say it like it is, all with grace and panache. That’s my boy, right there 🙂 🙂
You wrote on everything you could find, cupboard doors, behind the doors, on the walls..always frantically waving a wand of some kind! And from a very young age you knew you wanted to be a teacher. You wanted to make that difference, and you did and still strive to do it.
As a baby you were obsessed with a vacuum and would run for it every time you heard the buzzing. It was the funniest thing ever! We would put you in the furthest room in the house, surrounded by toys , closing all the doors just so that we could vacuum hoping you wouldn’t hear anything and therefore stopping us from vacuuming! Well it didn’t work of course. You would come speeding towards it, and only to lay on the vacuum and to feel the buzzing. I would finally give up, and let you have your moment :-). One of your aunts even gave you an old vacuum for your birthday, but you quickly figured out that it’s not giving you the buzz you need.
One of your favorite movies was Mr Bean. Well…I had to play it over and over again and you would laugh at the same scenes, every time! As much as I was annoyed, I would laugh with you. You have that laugh, where you just shakes and can’t even talk! I love laughing with you 🙂
And your all time favorite was dancing to a Shah Rukh Khan movie 🙂 “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham” and so many more others. I specifically remember this one cos we had to watch it to death but also because it had a hip beat!
You hated going to creche and because you had your granny wrapped around your finger, she finally let you stay with her. She said you didn’t need to go to creche, and that you have a head full of brains. She was right of course (may Allah grant her Jannah Ameen).
You would brag to me how your aunt prepares your lunch and that I don’t do it the same pfffft. They spoiled you and granny believed you could do nothing wrong.
You always had a string of friends, and I always knew you would make the right choices in friends. I never had to worry whether they’re bad for you. You don’t take any prisoners and you don’t tolerate drama. You carry yourself with dignity and stay faithful in your Deen.
And then you became Head Boy. If I think that was a proud moment, then the day you’ve made your last speech, I was even more proud. I clapped hands, my vision swimming, smiling from ear to ear and bursting with pride. It’s one of those days I will never forget.
I enjoy serenading with you to a Whitney song, AKA, Manhattans, Justin Bieber, Drake James Ingram and many more…dance to Kwaito and House music..
And more importantly, I love listening to you when you recite the Quran. Your voice is laced with emotions, you take us through that beautiful journey and one cannot help but listen and revel in the splendor of God’s word. It’s like music to one’s ears.:-)
I listen to you and how you perceive your peers and you make me so proud. You look at things objectively and with integrity. You don’t compromise on your beliefs, values and ethics. You going to do so well, you’re going to conquer the world and I wish you infinite success in all your challenges my son 🙂
I’ve raised you for the world and not for myself. This is something not many understand. I gave you the tools, so go forthwith and be a success. Earn and give the respect. Give and receive. Listen and learn. Honor your parents. Pray and forgive. Look out for your siblings, always! Laugh, dance, be happy and never settle for anything less!
Happy happy Birthday Na-eem Thebus. You the reason I get up everyday, you the reason I didn’t give up, when you needed me the most. I hope that I’ve done enough. I hope I’ve danced with you enough.
Remember what I told you…Love hard and never be afraid to show it!
Never forget Granny and Aunty Mielah who cared and nurtured you when I couldn’t. May Allah grant them Janaah, Ameen. Both, loved and disciplined you in their own way
Have you ever thought about whether you doing a good job raising your kids? How do you know this?
Are we too self absorbed in our losses that we tend to take the wrong approach when it comes to arming our kids for the world. I have a few mottos in life, one being “raise your kids for the world”. It could be up for debate for some, so let’s talk about it. So why raise your children for the world? What does it mean? What does it even entail..
Humility is big in my books. If you don’t have empathy, understanding, respect for your fellow man, then you will not get very far in life. In my experience as a parent I am going to be the first one to say that being a parent, guider, sustainer, leader etc are one of the hardest things to do. It’s one job that accolades are not freely handed out but rather judged or frown upon by society. Some of us try to live our losses through our children. We try to make up for our short comings or lack of achievements and create our lives we dreamt of through our children. That is a big injustice isn’t it..
Besides the fact that economics changed, politics evolved, technology has changed our social skills, a bread cost so much more, integrity means far less, we want to force them to do what we couldn’t, what we dreamt of becoming growing up. And that’s a fine line to cross because we all hover over that line from time to time. It takes extreme balance to make sure we shift our weight back to us, back to accepting that we were eighteen and pregnant, we were told to go work at the age of sixteen to sustain a family of six, we had no choice but to go work as the mere laborer, the mere machinist..
But what did it make us as individuals, as parents..?It made us the achievers of today! Instead of trying to create the fantasy we never had, we should pat ourselves on the back because our sacrifices are what created our beautiful souls.
So what are the fundamental basis to create well balanced future leaders? I can only think of three important aspects that comes to mind. If you can think of anything else, please feel free to contribute and discuss.
Be emotionally available:
How often are we in the actual, physical space with our children but our hearts and heads are everywhere and anywhere else?
We constantly chasing the never reaching rainbow. We are too focused on what we look like, the house that we want, the car that we want. It becomes a natural thing to nod and say “yes….really…oh…ok..?…”
Being emotionally available requires us to pay attention, close attention and to respond compassionately.
We shove technology in their hand and expect them to be socially equipped so that we have more free time for ourselves to try and catch up whatever we’ve lost…. Let me tell you something…It’s never going to happen. The best thing to do is to create the best path for your child.
Multitasking our time with our children has become a norm and we don’t make the time to look at them and engaging with them. Our minds are anywhere but the story of ” the boy said he’s going cut my hair,”. Until something untoward happens, we either look for someone else to blame or carry the burden of guilt. I fall in the latter category. I never look at the next person to blame whenever my children find themselves in a precarious position. And yes, there was an incident that happened to one of my children and it was a wake up call for me. I was ready to blame the choice of friends, but realized that I will do the same injustices that was done unto me. I firmly believe that people are influences in your life, but you still have a choice. The choice between right and wrong. You need to know or say ” this is wrong and my parents armed me to know the difference between right and wrong..”
At another time amidst writing three exams and juggling between studying for exams and work, my daughter start telling me about her day (after I asked her…as an after thought, or rather automatically..- “Hi, how was your day”) and of course I’ve not heard a single word she said. She came to stand in front of me, sandwich my face and said ” Mom, you’re looking at me but you’re not listening to me”.
And since that day, I am looking at my kids when they talk to me. Engaging is so important for them, it makes them feel that they mean something and whatever they’re sharing are important and like that they reciprocate, as well as handing it out to the world. So stop doing what you doing and pay attention!
Provide limits and discipline:
I am very old fashioned to a certain extent. I like to refer to this analogy – Our children are our puppets on a string and we play them how we see fit, we pull and release and assess their inputs and outputs, how they handle responsibilities, discipline, respect and self respect. We let go slightly to ascertain whether we can trust our kids, how much we should allow, or how little. It’s an ongoing process.
I get highly irritated when I hear a parent says “oh she’s not listening to me – he does his own thing”
Really? Surely there is something wrong with that statement? Who is working from nine-to five, who is providing, who is paying the bills. Why are we so complacent, why does it look like we are becoming the kids, and they’re becoming the parent. If we don’t set clear boundaries or create a “free for all-do what you want to” basis then we creating less disciplined leaders, disrespectful adults, lazy individuals, society that has no ambition to grow, little big monsters! All this is what you sending out to the world, you creating a cauldron of events in your child’s path that he/she won’t be armed to deal with.
We allow dating from a very young age, I certainly don’t believe in dating whilst at school. Yes some will say that’s preposterous in today’s life! I’m arguing, what is? What is today’s life? Social media, free condoms at school, pregnancy are allowed on schools- girls are walking ducks talking about everything else besides solving for x! They have their babies, mommy becomes granny, we’re all proud and smiles, and she goes back to school. Don’t get me wrong, education is your passport to better, to greater things but mistakes are made to learn from. So where’s the lesson in this one?
Yes it’s definitely harder than what it was thirty years ago but who are pulling the strings, who determines the discipline and respect? And ultimately, who is setting the pace?
Why don’t we rather cultivate self respect, self discipline, future leaders, empathy, humility, good values and strong minds.
All this can be done without forcing your child to get a degree in whatever you couldn’t. Again, I am an advocate for enhancement for improvement for better and higher education will give them the ability to be future leaders and providers.
But does it teach them the important values and principles? The importance of family, the unimportant flashy car, the importance of knowing that you don’t shack your parents up in an old age home, you don’t turn your back on your struggling sibling, you give without expecting anything back in return, you don’t keep a tally on what you do for anyone, you stay humble, you keep the faith and to be good from the inside out. Worldly possessions are just that, it’s temporarily and can be lost at anytime, but good values are permanent – no one can take that away.
Parents that see discipline as a teaching opportunity raise children who experience much better outcomes in their own lives.
Find happiness and meaning in being a parent:
This must be the most rewarding job I’ve ever had to do, and my god, its the most difficult job ever. You constantly plan ahead, you question all the time. There was and still are times when I feel I’ve done the wrong decision. Right now I’m finding myself feeling anxious because I want my daughter to attend a good high school. Was it the right train of thought? My sons did very well in model c schools, so what makes me think it’s not good enough for my daughter. I debate this thought and say I want better for her, I can afford to give her a better chance, she is a girl so I want her to be safe, she’s a free spirit and I want her to excel in extra mural activities on and on I go, trying to justify why the change of perception.
I cart my son from campus to campus because I want to do it. I go crazy when he invades my time and space, I throw a tantrum but yet it’s so rewarding when I see him walk towards the car, all tired but excitingly telling me about his day. I look at him through my rear view mirror and I think ” it’s all worth it”
I nag the eldest to get his license all the time because why do I have to still cart him around.He has his own car, but is not allowed to drive without his license. But when he gets into the car he asks me how I am, kisses me and my heart melts, I immediately forget about my agitation.
This is where I find happiness and the true meaning of being a parent is to guide and to protect against all odds.Parenting is not all about ‘happy moments.’ In fact, much of family life is hard work, plain and simple.
So practice better understanding and let’s be more influential in teaching our children good ways to act Show them love so that they can hand it out. Let them be their own person, don’t break their spirits, dance with them, laugh with them and be the parent