Just when I was beginning to feel a little bit down in the dumps, the Almighty knew best to brighten up my day by presenting me with joy upon joy.
Firstly, He granted us some sunshine. So warm and sunny it was that I happily hung our laundry out to dry under the sun and we spent time pulling out the weeds in the garden. I am, however, more wary of staying out when it's warm, i.e: high pollen content in the air. I must remember the consequences of exposure to pollen - horrible skin rash!
The great weather invited us to our second joy which was strawberry picking with some friends, followed by a picnic at our favourite park: Coombe Abbey (definitely where memories were made with the beloved and some precious friends, namely Mamasarah and Halwafy).
We are now going to have a strawberry feast this week, bagging home approximately 4kgs yesterday. After giving away a bucket to a neighbour, I joked that we'd be having ayam masak strawberry (chicken strawberry stew), sambal strawberry (strawberry chillies or chutney) and gulai strawberry (strawberry stew) the whole week! Chuckle!! Of course, it is in actual fact going to be more of: strawberry slush, strawberry shake, strawberry dipped in chocolate, strawberry tartlets, strawberry jam, strawberry shortcakes and strawberry tortes! Yum yum!
One thing about strawberries is that they don't always taste exactly the same. A piece may be sourish, while another may be lushiously sweet. Another attempt might prove in between while the next one seduces you even more! Little D announced yesterday that strawberries were his favourite fruit, but when I asked him how it fared compared to durians, he paused and said, "Well, durians are my favourite in Malaysia but over here, my favourite fruit is strawberry!"
Arriving home at 7.30pm, which is still early as the sun only sets two hours later, we were all knackered - ready for bed. We each showered, performed our solah and had a light dinner of left-over pasta from the afternoon. I was ready to hit the sack when the twins reminded me that they had to read their Qurans. Oh dear... I obliged seeing that Abang was excited as he was already in his final chapter of the Quran. Alhamdulillah, he has finally completed his reading of the Quran.
Unexpectedly, I was filled with a feeling of euphoria - undescribable and unexplainable. I didn't expect to be so overwhelmed over my boy's achievement but it just happened. I wanted to shout to the world - to close family members and friends, but I realised that there wasn't anyone around. People back home were still asleep at 10.30pm GMT (5.30am Malaysian time). I didn't want to scare my dad or sister, by calling them up too early; neither did I want to disturb friends with an unexpected beep on their mobiles while they were still in slumber. I thought of my friends in the UK, but quickly erased my text when I realised that I must sound like a crazy OTT mom, excited over nothing! After all, other people had their children complete the quran at a tender age of 7 or 8. And here I am, dubiously elated over her first-born completing it at the age of 11+. Big deal!
However, let me share why such feelings seeped through me. Even though the children go to the mosque to read their quran, they have completed their readings this time under my supervision - 100%. We started the journey at the beginning of 2008, and the journey has been beautiful. In my honest opinion, it didn't drag too long and the children were already familiar with the quran due to their previous experiences. My tajweed is not perfecto (and I'm dying to learn more!) but I have had my fair share of Quran and tajweed classes during school days (including those sleepy afternoon lessons during Forms 1 and 2 with 'ol Ustaz Dahalan) and also post-school days. The children are continuously asking about what a symbol means, and how the readings of certain areas should be - prompting me to search for an answer myself when things became vague.
We also shared stories of the different surahs and the significance of some stories. I attempted to introduce them to some arabic words and understand the structure of the language itself so that they would know where to pause, etc. I saw the twinkle in their eyes when they triumphantly recognised words and their meanings, or even names of prophets or even names of some friends or relatives! The repetition of certain phrases, such as in Surah Ar-rahman illustrated how beautiful the language of the Quran is, especially when they rhymed. Short and common du'as were marked for us to return to and memorise. It has certainly been education for us all!
In short, I retired last night with praises to the Almighty, for showering me with goodness and well-being. Upon reflection, His rezq certainly comes in various forms and shapes, and the best of them all is the gift of my Fantastic Four! May Allah bless us all always...
p/s: The house is also now more complete with the arrival of two wardrobes to hang our clothes up! No more living from a suitcase for us!!