Building bridges


I have been telling children lots of stories from my childhood and they keep asking to travel to Uzbekistan. Also, they have started to take more interest in speaking to my mom and dad on the phone. We speak to my brother and one of my elder sisters via skype and mashaAllah they love these skype-chats as they get to see them as well. InshaAllah, I hope we will be able to take them to see their grandparents soon inshaAllah.

Very often my stories about Uzbekistan lead to some funny conversations. One day at bed time I said to them “Today, I am not going to read you a story from the book. I will tell you one from my own head”. We all lied down and I kept telling them how I used to look after our cow during school holidays. I had some friends who were our neighbours. Their names were Surayyo and Dilnoza. They were of my age. We used to call each other early in the morning and take our cows to a place far away where there were lots of wild weeds. We used to pick them up for our cows. There were big and long streams. We used to cross these streams barefoot and sometimes had bath. Our cows used to drink water from those streams. When the cows eat well, then they give lots of milk. So, I had to make sure our cow was fed fell. In the evening when I come home my dad used to say “Well done, my daughter, mashaAllah”. SubhanAllah, the girls loved this story so much, the next day they said “Mom, tell us a story, not from the book but from your own head” lol. So, I started telling them more about the village where I grew up and our house; what we did with our parents and how much fun we had. My mom-in-law tells them lots of stories in general about the lifestyle back home and they are so intrigued and want to visit soon inshaAllah.

This morning I was telling Sumayya stories about my my mom and what she used to say when I did certain things. She goes to me
-Mommy, you know when I grow older I will have my own children. You become old then so you become a grandma. You go to live in Uzbekistan like all grandma’s
-No, I dont go to live in Uzbekistan. I am gonna miss you, Safiyya, Ibrahim then. I can stay here inshaAllah
-No, no. You have to go and live in Uzbekistan like all Uzbek grandmothers. You are not English grandmother so you have to go. Then I will have my own children. Dad can stay because he needs to take me to hospital. and I will ask my children to speak to you on the phone
-I am gonna miss your children, Sumayya.
-No, no. I will tell them about everything you and dad do to me now. I say to my daughters, my mom used to do this and that with me. I will speak like you mommy. I tell them about you.

We went to the library late afternoon yesterday, checked out about 15 books. As soon as we got home Sumayya started reading and continued this morning without breakfast. I said to her
-When I was a little girl like you I used to read a lot. I loved reading so much that my mom used to tell me off saying “Go and do this job for me, that job for me instead of reading all the time”. Then I used to go and lock myself in the toilet (which is true) and read there.
-But, mom, you like it when I read. You never tell me off and say do this and that
-I know. But, we lived in the village, Sumayya. where there was so much to do. We had big fields where we grew crops and we always had 2 cows. I and my sisters had to feed them and there was lots of jobs in the village. We dont have much to do here
-Anyway, even if we have much to do you can do it by yourself whilst I read, yea mommy.

Safiyya is even more hilarious. I cant remember anything particular at this moment but she is so sharp and quick to interpret things to her own benefit. One day she was arguing with Sumayya. She must have said something not nice about Sumayya so Sumayya came up to me to complain. I said to her

-Safiyya, why did you say this about your sister, to which she replies
-But, I was not talking about her mommy, I was talking about a different Sumayya. Do you remember we met a girl called Sumayya at Dawud’s Qur’an party, I was talking about her

I didnt know what to say LOL. She only met this girl for a couple of hours, at someone else’s house and she could remember and knew how to use her when I wanted to tell her off. Anyway, I said to her not to lie because bad smell comes out of her mouth and angels will run away from her. And she goes
-Mommy, even the angels who write down your deeds run away? You know Kiraman Katebeen, even they run away when someone lies?
-I dont think so, Safiyya.

Sometimes it is hard to believe she is only 3,5. She is so sharp and manipulative lol. She talks like a great philosopher or a preacher even. She doesn’t forget to reference her speech from the Qur’an or hadith.  They went to stay with one Uzbek family without me one day. They have a 7 year old boy who plays with Sumayya. He must not have listened to his mom or he must have done something not nice so my friend (his mom) told him off and gently smacked him. And there was Safiyya preaching the mother
-You know aunty, our prophet said you should be kind to small children. You should be kind, aunty, because Allah said so in the Qur’an.
My friend was so softened by her reminder lol. Anyway, she asked
-I know. But, what did Allah say in the Qur’an about treating mothers? Should children speak nicely to their mothers?
Then Safiyya quickly turned to the boy
-You know, you should listen to your mom and speak to her nicely. Because Allah said so in the Qur’an. Only when you dont listen she can smack you. (LOL, as if she always listens to me- I thought to myself)

My friend was telling me this incident and how Safiyya quickly changed her mind about whose side she should take lol. She is so hilarious, bless her.

Anyway, I think we should talk to them more about Uzbekistan, our culture and lifestyle back home in order to build bridges with their own background inshaAllah. So, when Allah enables us to visit our families and extended families one day inshaAllah, they don’t feel like fish out of water.