The Trouble comes in Two’s

The trouble with twins is they are so darn cute. The trouble with the fact that they are boys is that they get up to mischief and do the most nonsensical things to the point where you question your parenting skills all the time. When asked about the nonsensical thing, they will in unison start telling the story of how the nonsensical thing happened and you find yourself looking from one twin to the other as they tell the story seamlessly – one starting where the other stops, words overlapping, voices excited. Then they might burst out laughing in conclusion, while you are still processing what they have just said.

Now with the story told, you find yourself faced with two beautiful boys, staring back at you with glee in their faces, eagerly awaiting your response. In this moment I look at them intently. Marvelling at the shape of their faces, the sparkle in their eyes, they way they are so similar and so different. The way they look the same but one is a little more like me and the other a little more like hubby? The amazing gift of human life, the miracle of creation and then being able to see it before your eyes? Alhumdulillah!

They are biologically identical – quick biology note – there are two types of identical twins. The mirror image kind that generally share everything including the amniotic sac and placenta which makes them identical.Extremely hard to tell apart – generally what people expect when you say identical.  Then there are the twins that were from one fertilized egg that split and they shared a placenta but they have separate amniotic sacs. This means that they are likely to look very similar “identical” but not to the point where you cannot tell them apart (for most people). These are what mine are. When they were babies they got mixed up a lot and now when we look at photos we can see why.

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Not much feels New

So something about this new year does not have the newness about it. I don’t have the energy I think I should have, I haven’t made any decisions to start new things. I still feel like lots of things have just carried over from one day last year to the next day this year. So I thought about what made it different or rather not different this year. Do I have an unfair expectation of the new year to change things? or was 2017 just so much that there is a lot to deal with?

Don’t get me  wrong, I have had a wonderful break over december. It’s been festive and relaxing. It’s been the summertime vibes, as a family we have been doing activities and having get togethers’. We have had a little trip to the coast and had beautiful beach days, bike rides and beach strolls. We visited the Aquarium and I marveled at the wonders from under the sea. The colours and textures that just fills you with awe. The quality family time has been lovely but there’s stuff lurking under the surface that feels unfinished? Like the crazy creatures from the ocean that we visited, things felt alluring but weird, awesome yet strange, mystical yet … miserable?

I think part of it is that I felt like this before taking the break from work and I thought that would help but now it seems like it didn’t change much. Somehow, this feeling just won’t leave me. Maybe, I need to set myself free from the burdens I place on myself. Maybe, I need to understand that it’s not me or my responsibility to compensate for all the things I see, for the small injustices and the big betrayals. Maybe, I need to let go.

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Lucky Number 13

I am celebrating my 13 year anniversary today. It has been a tumultuous journey up until this point. So we met and fell in love and within 9 months we were married! So let’s just say we have spent the last 13 years getting to know one another. Having an anniversary in December has benefits in the sense that in general you are closing off the year. Ending things to start a new year. Spring cleaning and reconnecting with each other and friends and family. It’s a time where you reflect on the year that has passed, on the things you have gained and lost and in all honesty we have had a bumper year.

As a couple Alhumdulillah we have grown from strength to strength. We have developed a mutual respect that has allowed us to really understand each other. Often in marriage we see things from our own point of view and very rarely are we able to really put ourselves in our partner’s shoes. And this can lead to some sticky and tricky situations. Over the years we have had massive colossal fights that left us both shaken. We have faced tragedy and heartbreak together. We have also shared in the most amazing memory making moments and some joyous occasions that we have been privileged to be apart of with family and friends. Mostly, we have had the absolute best job in the world and shared responsibility of raising our boys.

All this has cemented our love and made us closer than ever before. The sincere appreciation for each other. The real connection of understanding your needs after a long tough day. The unexpected cup of tea. The gentle squeeze of a hand. The inside jokes we share. The recognition in the boys we see growing up in front of us, as literally a part of each us. Both of us. They have things from us that we are continually surprised to discover. Little habits and mannerism and phrases that are not taught but emerge from within. These boys fulfill our world. They have allowed us to discover and learn from each other and them as they enquire about the world around them.

We have faith and belief in each other that has definitely changed the dynamic between us. We are each other’s ‘person’. The one you go to for that burning question. The one that will help you make a decision. The one that will offer you a perspective when you need one. The one that will listen as you vent. The one that will hug you as you cry. But equally we allow each other space to be ourselves. And space from each other when we need it. I have so much to be thankful for and I am so eternally grateful for all that I have.

We have travelled together to many magical places. We fondly talk through our travel diaries remembering many occurrences that have added to the colour of our marriage. Including our journey to Hajj. This was 3 years ago and we were able to find a connection from a spiritual perspective, which cannot really be described. This is more a feeling, like when your heart completely recognises another’s.

It’s amazing that 13 years have gone by. A little ironic that the number 13 has all these negative connotations to it. Friday the 13th is widely considered as an unlucky day. Some hotels make it appear like there is no 13th floor as people are apprehensive to stay on the 13th floor. It is also considered unlucky to have 13 guests for dinner at a table? I don’t believe in any of this of course, but as I reflect on our 13 years together I just find myself thinking how phenomenally lucky I have been. I have made it this far. We have faced the trials and tests put in front of us and we are seeing it through to the other side.

I know that we will have disagreements and possibly more colossal fights, I know that we will have more trials and tests, I know that we might face more tragedy and heartbreak but I also that we will have that many happy memories and more wonderful times together as a couple and as a family, as we have had these past 13 years. I know that we have each other. I know whatever the challenge we will make it through… Insha Allah, and with the grace and blessings from Allah (SWT) we will continue to have the patience and love and understanding for the years to come.

So for me this year’s anniversary is definitely lucky number 13.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.  – Rumi

 

Head in the Cloud

On rainy days like these I often drift off thinking about life and remembering random things. Often this makes me nostalgic and moody but today I just feel like sharing a story and I warn you it is random 🙂

Saturdays are usually busy. Filled with errands and all the things you didn’t get to during the week. Usually every odd weekend we also want to take the kids out. This particular Saturday it was myself, mom and one of my sisters and the boys of course, on a mission to watch the new Lego movie. They had been wanting to go see it for a while but something had always come up. So this week I promised. We all got dressed and off we went.

The casual conversation in the car is always interesting. The boys tend to be very engaged in the car and it sometimes leads to very comical outcomes. Needless to say always entertaining. Two things struck me on this day. One, as we passed the Voortrekker Monument on the way to the mall. The boys asked about its origins. All the occupants in the car including myself, hesitate to answer. When finally, one of the boys says in an accusatory tone, due to our silence…

‘HEY, Are you Googling it?’

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Soul Food

I define family as many things. Mostly, for me family is the connection. Like the undefined colours in a dusky sky, these connections have nuances of unconditional love. Family can be the people you have collected, in your life, your tribe, that truly care for you and your well-being, who are invested in you on an emotional level. Family is not only biological, it’s based on this invisible bond that you have with the people in your life. Meaning, you have a limitless resource in who you consider family.

I am fortunate enough to be apart of a large family, biologically speaking, via marriage and via other networks, be it friendships or connections from unlikely places even. I count myself as one of the lucky ones. As the years have gone by I have managed to stay close, however, life does happen. As the family units have expanded, people have moved, meaning that logistics and daily life have creeped in, where you don’t really see each other all the time. Your interactions are based primarily on scheduled events and whether it’s a baby shower, birthday or wedding, you’re extremely grateful for these as this means you DO get to see each other and spend time. These occurrences allow you to interact and stay in contact and remain close. These occurrences reiterate that the bonds that have been built during childhood and growing up, or as the relationship progressed, are strong and they have this forever element in them.

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The Bully Inside

Bullying has always existed. Perhaps it has evolved over time with the ebb and flow of “coolness”. There are so many factors that potentially alienate a target for this kind of abuse. So many social, religious and personal factors have become reasons for ridicule. Then we have technology that has not helped the situation.The abuse is and can be perpetrated anonymously. Also, the bullying of the past existed between a finite number of people, and limited to the perpetrator and the victim and their respective social circles. However now,  those social circles have expanded exponentially and the world knows in a single tweet, perpetrators are potentially everywhere how on earth to we protect our kids? Additionally, where does all this aggression come from?

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Like Diamonds in the Night

What happens to us when we lose something precious. For one, a sense of panic overtakes you, how will you survive without this precious thing? Then, you may want to blame someone, so you have an element of rage that overtakes you, maybe towards a person or the universe or Murphy. These human reactions to losing something that you treasured sometimes can overtake your sanity.

My wedding ring is a prime example. It is a prized possession. The first real diamond I have ever owned and simply put, beautiful. It represents love and commitment and all the things that have resulted in all the blessing that I currently have. It shimmer’s in the light and adorns my finger bringing sparkle to my daily life. However, I tend to be so careless with it. I never take it off when doing grubby housework or chores meaning that it gets scratched and slightly bruised. Then, I have this awful habit of randomly taking it off, and leaving it in obscure places.

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