i was sitting on my masalla at namaz tonight, sharing my munajat with a new mom. while reading, her eyes kept moving towards her baby daughter at the other end of the suf. literally every ten seconds, her gaze would slide away from the paper at hand, even while her voice strived to remain in accord with the rest of us. my reactions were multiple: amazement that she was managing to follow at all, relief that i had nothing (or no one) to thus occupy my attention, mild annoyance at her constant shifting gaze, bewilderment as to why anyone would choose to take such a burden upon themselves.
the last few days at markaz has seen a small explosion of children. they cry, scream and stumble over everyone's masallas (i am always terrified my specs will meet a dire fate), their mothers are constantly running after them or shushing them and they go extra nuts during dinner.
this world has enough children. together with less than satisfactory parents. i don't want to join that group. i think i am too selfish; i value my time, privacy and energy too much to want to share. it is not that i dislike kids, or never wish that i too had a cute cuddly bundle. the new mom sitting next to me tonight, when her wandering daughter returned, and started playing with me, for the next few moments she was the cutest kid in the world, and all i wanted was to make her smile. but those are mere moments, whereas these kids are around for life.