Today I took my mum and little sister out to a shopping centre near my university.
On a normal weekday, the trains would be working normally, but since it was Saturday (and there was trackwork announced on our line), we had to terminate at an earlier stop and take some alternate bus that wasn’t my mum’s cup of tea. It didn’t help that my little sister was swearing under her breath almost everytime someone looked at her…the day wasn’t going incredibly well…I was loosing my patience quickly. So while trying to remain cool, our stop arrived and we finally landed near my campus (there was a bit of a walk, and complaining, but it passed once we arrived at the centre of my uni).
Upon my little sister seeing the main quad, she stopped me and my mum and asked if we were in Britain, I shook my head to my little sister and told her it’s everyday life for people here. The grass here is just a little greener than our hometown. I asked her afterwards if she would consider going to university if she knew her world was open to something like this (mind you my little sis, is someone who appreciates the quick road out of things. She planned to drop out of high school in her coming years and jump right away into a course in hairdressing)…she gave me a deep glare and shook her head. She acknowledged she was wrong about university, but was still keen on her choice. I’m happy to support her, I just want her to know there are other career paths outside what she sees in retail.
So moving along, as we toured the university, my mum got nostalgic, she had been throwing in negative comments here and there about the area and the way the people looked after it earlier on, so when I heard that the place reminded her of Lebanon (her birthplace) I looked on and posed funnily in front of her. She snapped out of her daze and then looked at the nice scenery behind and looked at me and my sister and declared this would be the place where we would take our future wedding photos…I turned to my sister who was laughing at my blanched face.
A few barrels of laughter later and a disappointed mother, we arrived at the shopping centre, did some shopping, and enjoyed a meal. When we were cleaning up, my mother left her fries (hardly touched) and she was about to throw them. Something clicked in my mind and I told her to leave them. I suggested we could give them to the pigeons by the park. But my little sister surprised me instead and suggested we give them to the homeless man by the corner…she was nervous to give them to him (I won’t blame her) so I offered it to him instead. And just the wrinkle of the brow and tug of the mouth of the man that bleeds thankyou in everyway was enough to knock me off my high horse and my anger that I had been collecting throughout the day disintegrated subhanallah. We walked away and for the first time my little sister became passionate about discussing issues that weren’t related to facebook or highschool dramas. It was good. This unwanted trip was worth it. We got to ride a taxi for the first time on the way back. And we enjoyed a day out for the first time as a family, in over five years. Alhamdullilah