Of late I sense my children are pretty up to their noses having to deal with me day and night. I was not happy for it either but sometimes, I gotta do what a mother gotta do. As such, my 13-year-old daughter is the one with the most tears in many new curfew I put on her.
First incident happened early of the Hari Raya weeks when she went for an open house. Glad that a 13-year-old girl to have such an invitation, my husband granted her his permission before the remaining of family members decided to retire in bed for the afternoon nap. But her absence has done the entire house nothing but worry. When we woke up at 4.00 p.m., she was not at home. This continued till 6.00 p.m.
I began to lose myself. I could not hold the worry much longer, so I decided to give her a call. My call was not answered. I called again. No answer. I wondered why hadn’t she picked up my calls. I did not want to show her my anxiety so I texted her telling her that it was getting late and she should not be out until dusk. No reply. Suddenly, I saw my husband talking on the phone. He had called her. I asked for her whereabouts. She said she’s already within the housing area.
I sighed a relief.
After almost 50 minutes, there was still no sight of her. My heart pounded heavily. I wanted to cry but I knew it would be too much a reaction if I were to do so. Just as I began to perform my maghrib prayer, I heard someone opened the entrance door. Then, slowly I heard footsteps towards the girl’s room. It must her, I thought. It was her. Again, I wanted to cry. This time because I was relieved.
After dinner, I called all my children to sit at the living room. I was about to give them a word about the curfew I was about to imposed to my 13-year-old girl. Before telling everyone about the new curfew, I asked her to explain herself of which she had to stay at people’s house for 5 hours.
It was really pointless and waste of time. Worse still, as a mother myself, I was ashamed to the host that my child had chose to put up to two praying times. In return, I explained to her my rationale for being ashamed. I also reminded her of adab when visiting irregardless how okay the guests are for having us for so long.
Then, I dropped the bomb. The curfew is she is only allowed to go out for two hours as longer than that means I will confiscate her handphone. She agreed. No hesitation, no rejection, but full of silent tears. I felt so sad when she cried but I reminded myself of the two times I was nearly pouring out of worry earlier that day. I convinced myself that it should be okay. I meant nothing but good for my little girl.
Was I feeling bad for making her cry? A little bit.
Was I sorry that I had become an unpopular figure in the house for the new curfew? No.
It’s okay if the entire house think I was being too overprotective. I just cannot imagine what would my little girl be if I never correct her just because I wanted to be accepted or a favourite in the house.