Now I know I have not been the most Muslim person lately with doubting a lot of very major things that make a person Muslim... But even with my search for truth and meaning going beyond Islam, I still want to appreciate the month of Ramadan and benefit from it. And probably most importantly, I want my daughter to.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Just to clarify, my search for meaning and truth has not gone away from Islam, it has just expanded so that now it's bigger than just looking into Islam and its teachings but also to other religions and philosophies along with Islam.
My plans this Ramadan focus a lot on making my daughter "feel" Ramadan. I don't want it to be difficult for her to feel how special the month is. I don't want her to have trouble connecting with her Muslim identity as she gets older because we ARE a Muslim family. I want her to know she is not exactly like most other kids she will be going to school with and becoming friends with and to know that it's not a bad thing! I don't want to spring it on her when she's 10 - I want it instilled in her that she is more than any other kid and I hope that this will make some of her tough decisions as a kid, pre-teen, teen and young adult easier. Basically, I want her to have a strong awareness of who she is!
The little things I have planned for her this Ramadan seem very insignificant when my ultimate goal is for her to be able to make good decisions because of a strong awareness of who she is, but a goal that big has to start somewhere! And building her Muslim identity is where it's at this Ramadan!
SO! What we will do is
1) decorate the apartment. Put up twinkly lights in the living room and her bedroom if she wants, with some Ramadan Karim lights and lantern lights my husband got from Egypt, if he can manage to convert the electricity plug on those.
2) do an Eid countdown with a chain made out of construction paper. I will write one small thing about Ramadan that I want her to know per day and encourage her to show her chain link to others and explain what she learned. For example, first one will be that people fast during Ramadan... She will learn what fasting means and that as a child, she doesn't fast, and as a pregnant woman, I am not fasting... I hope that she will discuss some of those things with her daycare buddies.
3) this is only IF she shows interest... I will encourage her to fast a few hours and make breaking the fast a bit special for her. She is only 4 so I will not suggest it unless she shows interest, which might not happen at all.
4) Pray while she is there and encourage her to join. I have not been doing salat so this is something she has not seen much of.
5) Bring her to the mosque. My husband has one Friday out of two off so I will get him to bring her for those two Fridays that he can. And I will try to bring her to teraweeh prayers once (one of those days when she had a late nap)
6) This is dumb but I think I will keep a dish of something out each day... Just like Christmastime has a lot of candies and chocolates in dishes out for us to snack on... An extra thing for her to remember and cling to. Something yummy that she will be happy to see again next year! I'd love your ideas on what that should be. Dates maybe?
7) Onto Eid... It's in the middle of the week I think and I will be working all day... But we will dress up nice for daycare and in the evenings and do a little something special. One evening we plan on seeing a movie in a cinema outside of town.
8) I will get her a piggy bank and give her some money. I think my parents would be on-board with participating for Eid too and there must be a couple Muslims we know that we will see that might do that too. She will learn that she can get herself something nice or pick out something for another child that she will give away and feel good about this day.
Well, that's the most of my list so far. I'm in a Ramadan buddies "program" and I hope to exchange more good ideas with my partner. She sent me the link I got the countdown chain idea from. Hopefully more little things I can add to this.
I welcome any ideas. My daughter is 4 years old and so far doesn't know about Ramadan at all. Thanks!