Throwback to when we got to Karachi and my Son Yahya started school.
A beautiful Karachi morning with a rain shower. From the overcast sky tiny droplets of water fell, though not fast enough to soak me but slowly clouding my glasses. My vision was now marred with these minuscule drops. I resisted the strong urge to take off my glasses and wipe them with my scarf. I wanted to experience this hazy vision. It felt strange to have my vision broken. Kind of feeling out of control.
I was walking back to the car after dropping the kids off to their classrooms. Even though I knew my way around well but I felt uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the place. Why do we crave predictability? Is it innate in us the desire to know where we are headed? To have a clear path in front of us. I walked with many thoughts floating in my head.
Yahya again refused to get out of the bed this morning. His eyes were tightly shut as his Father hugged him. He looked tired. I feared an onset of him coming down with some illness. Over the last 3 days he had been sleeping less, eating less and getting really cranky.
All day yesterday he came to me a number of times with just one question “Can I sleep in your bed tonight?” “Yes Yahya” I said. He knew well that we had a new rule of him sleeping with his Brother.
With the unpacking still in process I had been busy with the mover and packers. They needed me to tell them where to put my things. I had been standing with them since morning till 6ish in evening when they left.
Even though I knew Yahya needed me, I had no choice but to hand him the ipad to keep him busy.
Yahya was upset and looked more upset as day came to an end. For dinner he asked for the same food that he had in Singapore. He wanted me to cook for him. He didn’t want the food made by the cook. He wanted the same milk he had in Singapore. He cried that the milk here didn’t taste the same. He refused to listen. His tears and his loud cries made me feel helpless and angry.
I had cooked for him last week but he said it didn’t taste like the food in Singapore. He refused to understand that it cannot be the same.
I understood that he was trying to cope with this change by surrounding himself with familiar things. The school was new, classmates were new and to make it all worse they wanted him to write. He absolutely detested having to write. The thought of holding a pencil is perhaps his most distressing thought.
He got homework from school. He had to write 3 words starting with the sound “Sh”. He had told me all evening that he would do his homework in the night after dinner and now he just cried. He wanted me to tell him only 3 alphabet words with “Sh” sound as 4 alphabets were too long for him. No amount of reasoning worked.
With his hysterical crying everyone in the house tried to help him with his homework. He wasn’t listening. My mom, a typical grand parent, scolded me for being unreasonable and not helping Yahya. She insisted that I didn’t have time for the kids.
We finally settled on 4 alphabet words to finish the homework and got ready for bed. He agreed to sleep with his Brother if I agreed to let him come to my room in the night.
So I didn’t lock my room door. Past midnight he walked in with his water bottle, pillow and torch tightly clutched. In my disturbed sleep I heard him come, climb in the bed and hug his dad.
We spent most of the night tossing and turning as the electricity played hide and seek. I had actually forgotten what it felt like to have no electricity. Yahya could not understand why the fan stopped all of a sudden.
In school the rain meant that he could not play with his friends in playground. He stood next to me outside the classroom door. He wanted me to stay. I explained to him that I had no umbrella and if it rained heavily I would be soaked when I walked back to the car but he said Mama stay. I stayed.
I am worried. Yahya needs my help to figure his emotions but how do I help him. Perhaps I am not a good Mother I think to myself. As I drive home I look out to the vast sea – the waves splash. The sea looks rough maybe it’s loud. I cannot hear the sound with the windows shut. I feel a tightness in my chest. I feel inadequate.
Once a Friend said to me when I was struggling with Yahya and feeling very challenged at handling his situation that we are entrusted with our children to guide them on their journey here and if the Lord choose me to be his mother than I am going to do a wonderful job.
I repeat her words to me like I have done many times before. The messy house, dirty laundry can wait, the boxes can be opened later, the zillion things I need to do I can do on another day. I am going to catch my breath for now. I am definitely not letting negative thoughts find their way in.