Amreekia Min Bab Al Sharayah

That was the name of my old blog. Translated, it means an American woman from the old, poor and rundown district of Bab Al Sharayah in Cairo. I was given this nickname because although I was born in the USA, my mentality is more ghetto Egyptian. I'm a curious mixture of east meets west, and dont care if you call me balady!

I'm going to slowly bring some of the old posts from Amreekia over here (see archives), basically to give new readers some background. I hope you'll enjoy the old and the new and join me on this fascinating expat journey!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Winds of Change

Something is definitely in the my life, in my children's lives...I feel changes coming.  I'd be lying if I said I don't feel a marked sense of unease.  Transitions...I feel shifting in my life and maybe because I don't know exactly from where and how, there is also a sense of foreboding.

Ramadan is coming rapidly to an end.  This month always passes so quickly but this year it's just been unreal.  It's almost gone--only 3 more days most likely--3 or 4 depending on the moon, and then Eid will be here.  As usual, I am not satisfied with my performance this Ramadan.  I always think I could do better--in fact I know I could do better--but it's difficult for me to shift gears and concentrate only on Islam and worship.  I feel so many distractions...I was not myself this year--or maybe I was and that's what bothers me.  That I am not a better Believer.  That I let too many things which technically are unimportant in Ramadan take primary focus...and that sometimes culture takes precedence over religion.  But I digress.

I'm not doing anything for Eid this year.  I usually travel to family in Port Said but this year I wont.  I have many things to do to prepare for my trip home to the USA.  That's not to say I wont miss the chance to get out of arid Cairo and lounge around by the sea because I surely will.  Will also miss the marathon Eid cookie baking--and eating.  But I need to concentrate on the multitude of things I must do to prepare to go home for 2 months.  So traveling for Eid is out. The hubster is traveling soon too and we will meet up for 2 weeks in USA.  I sure am looking forward to that!

My friend D might come to stay with me over this holiday and I do welcome that idea.  I should know in the next day or 2 for sure.  If she comes we will make some cookies here--just enough to tide us over the holiday and some to leave for my husband when he returns while I am away.  And I imagine we'll go out to dinner at least once.....there's a nice outdoor club by the Nile--filed with lush greenery--I saw when I was going to Maadi a few weeks ago--I'd love to sit there for awhile and just soak in the fresh air and view of the water.

When one is in a state of transition, it's not a good idea to make major changes.  Better to let the dust settle and then calmly evaluate before making huge life changes.  One of my kids is facing a health issue--nothing serious but it needs some recovery time and in the midst of that, said kid is not happy in many areas of his/her life.  (I dont really want to identify which child.)  But I need to advise him/her to pass the health issue first, then make some other decisions.  Too much on one plate at one time isnt a good thing.  Big decisions need clarity--and calm thinking.

It's funny though...things--issues--problems--they don't just go away.  You can bury them for years, but if something's not right--they just keep popping up, and will never really go away until they are solved or somehow put to rest.  Life's tests are hard.  No one gets a free ride.  It's particularly sad when tests involve the happiness of your children.  Especially when their happiness means you have to let them go and be free to experience life on their own, without the shelter of your constant protection.  I am torn between encouraging my child to "go for it" and telling him/her to hold back and be "safe".  But in some cases, safe is not feeling alive--or happy.  And never taking chances, never depending solely on one's self, never making mistakes and learning from them--there's no room for growth in that is there?  And more than anything else, I want each one of my kids to learn, grow and most of all, be independent--able to stand solely on their own two feet whenever necessary.  I am trying to choke back the perhaps unrealistic fears in my heart and soul--the fear of something "bad" happening to one of my kids when he/she strikes out on a new path.  I want my kids to soar--and find joy in this life.  It shouldn't always be about what others think is right should it?  Shouldn't it sometimes be about what's right for each individual?

This is one of the drawbacks of living in one country while your kids live in another.  It's not like I can just jump in the car and get to one of them in a matter of a few hours like I used to.  At best--the very best--getting home would take a minimum of 24 hours and that's stretching it.   So I am so glad I am going back at this time.  One of my kids needs me.  I want to help, but I wont make the decisions for him/her.  I'd just like to be a gentle guide and impart some wisdom it took me much pain to gain.

My life certainly didn't go as planned.  And I guess if someone as sheltered as I was could find their own feet, then my kids should be able to as well.  I'm praying...and I hope to pray that prayer often until Ramadan ends.  These are the days for miracles.  And while I don't really need a miracle...I just want some Divine Intervention in the way of wisdom and strength to be gifted to this one precious, struggling child.


angie nader said...

life is full of twists and turns...
being a mom is the most emotional consuming role in my life.
it seems the older my son gets...the more a basket case i become. my husband tells me that i have to let him grow...and to rember myself as a young person trying to find out who i was.
i cant imgine how hard it must be for you have more than one. its nice that you will be there for your child durring their time of need. i'm sure it will very hard not making the decision for them...and letting them do it on their own. you'll do great! your heart is in the right place..and thats the most important!

on the edge said...

Tell me about it , with 2 girls married and living in the US and us here in Libya it so hard.In some ways it is easier to just not interfere because of the distances involved .But Thank God for emails ! Last month I wasn't talking to one girl but now is all good , lol .Good luck !Hey are you taking your mom home too with you ?