Eid morning was filled with the usual hustle and bustle - doing our final decorative touches to the lounge and dining area, filling eclairs with cream, decorating the table and double checking that everyone had their necklaces, scarves, fezzes etc. As stressful as all of this sounds, I absolutely love Eid preparations - from the meticulous preparation of the main dishes, ensuring that everything is absolutely perfect for the day's meal (as opposed to the slapdash cooking I normally do) to the careful matching of throws, cushions and tableware - oh, I love it all.
But before the unavoidable excitement had set in once the men headed off to mosque that morning, Mo and I experienced our usual sombre teary moments. Eid ul Fitr signalled the end to a beautiful Ramadaan, a month during which a deep spirituality had pervaded our home more intensely than it has ever done before. With all three our older kids fasting for the entire month, there was a constant sense of God-consciousness throughout the family. As is to be expected, there were moans and groans as the hunger pangs increased, but these were often met with reminders from the other kids that, "You shouldn't complain - you are fasting for Allah's sake" or "Now just imagine how the poor suffering people feel all the time - they don't experience any relief that we do at Iftaar". Gosh, the memories alone cause me to tear up. May Allah grant us many more opportunities to experience the immense blessings which this month brings In shaa Allah.
Anyway, back to Eid morning. When the men returned from mosque, we sat down to enjoy breakfast, which would normally be done before mosque, but since we all overslept, Mo and Shakeel (14) had to rush off without eating. For breakfast we enjoyed the last of the pies Mo's mum (Maama) had prepared before she emigrated to Australia in May this year. Although we chatted to her on Skype that morning, her absence was sorely felt.
Here are some Eid morning pics
|A very late breakfast - and yes, underneath my abaya, I am wearing my pyjamas and crocs (as you might have noticed under the table)|
My mother and brother came for lunch. This was a special lunch, since it is most likely the last time we'll have my brother to ourselves, as he will be getting married in the foreseeable future. But the poor thing had such a bad cold that he could not taste anything all day. He spent most of lunch coughing and sneezing and generously sharing his germs with me (as he sat next to me). By early evening I had a scratchy throat and a runny nose too. Thanks bro!!!
|Yes, that is my mother doing some kind of gangsta pose|
After lunch my other brother, arrived with his wife and kids. We planned to meet at our place and then head off to my paternal aunt upon whom the entire Gierdien family usually descends on Eid.
But first it was time for a photoshoot. Mo's brief was that we were to pose politely and decently for one photo, followed by a series of photos with us pulling funny faces or doing ridiculous poses.
|So this is us being all polite and decent|
|Just look at my bearded brother's gangsta pose. What is it with this family of wannabe gangstas?|
We took a series of these pics - each portraying us in a different pose (naturally I chose to show you the one in which I look the least ridiculous). Interestingly though, my brother's wife (in the goldish scarf)'s pose and facial expression remained unchanged through all the pics. The epitome of coolness, she must have been lamenting her decision to marry into this family.
After leaving my aunt's place we parted ways with my brother and his family. At that point I was starting to feel really sick, so I spent the next few hours lying in bed at my mother's place while Mo and the kids visited my aunts.
Later we headed to Mo's sister's place, where we caught up with the rest of his family. Again, we chatted to Maama on Skype and we could not help remarking how strange this Eid felt without her. But at this point I was feeling really awful and I silently prayed that I was not spreading my germs to his family - especially not to his sister and her family since they had a weekend getaway scheduled for the following day.
When we got back home we realised that we had not taken any family photos, so Mo whipped out the camera and tripod and forced the kids to stand still a while longer. Although I felt like death warmed over, I too wanted to capture what was left of our special day, so I stoically wiped my snot and smiled for the camera.
I really love these photos of Mo and Shakeel. As always, we have Shakeel trying to maintain his composure while his dad clowns around.
|"Seriously, how do I maintain my cool with this guy for a dad?"|
|"I give up"|