9:41 AM

Making a Home: The Table

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

While making my new Home Personalized Organizing Notebook (more about that later) I was browsing link-offs. Don't you ever do that and get lost like 50 link from where you started? Anywhoo... So I reached this wonderful blog (link later) about a Christian Mother who Homeschools. At first I was looking at her examples of her Notebook. But as I clicked on and on into her blog I was struck by something. And it kinda hurt. I thought I was over those feelings but as I thought more and more about it for a good while on this early oddly foggy morning the pain turned into determination. My pain was the pain of nostalgia.

She had lovely pictures of her home. A large wooden dining table was the center of most of these shots. Sometimes there were candles sometimes kids doing work. Sometimes a book or two. This made me really long for my home. This has a two-fold meaning.

I long for my parent's home which is also my grandparents home in Tucson, AZ,USA. I was very comfortable in that house. It's a large one floor house with a LONG hallway leading to many rooms. It just had that homey feeling. The dining table is large and wooden with my paternal grandma's (who passed away) finishing touches decor on the walls. My mom revamped the Kitchen and it looks lovely and workable. But I had to think hard about why this blog made me feel such pain. It was the feeling that this is missing from my life. Why don't I feel my HOME that I live in is Homey? Do MY kids think MY house is Homey? I thought deeper about that dining table. When I sat at it at home it was just a comfortable very nice wooden table where we ate family meals, stretched it out for Thanksgivings and parties, played my favorite family games, talked over life decisions, did my aggravating math homework, and just sat staring out the window at passing hummingbirds. The point is I saw it as a whole. It was a place I used to be with my family in our Home. But when I look at MY table I'm thinking, I gotta wipe it down after each meal and sometimes I don't want to so I leave it and it is messy, then I wipe it and the nooks and crannies make it frustrating and I wish i hadn't bought this type of plastic table and i daydream about my fantasy table one day i will buy, and the table is always in my way of making the room look larger and having more room in my small house and it gets in the way of my vacuuming. You see I'm looking at the details. Perhaps this is what life is like looking at a new point of view. Before i was looking as a child. That was our table. End of story. Now I'm looking at mine through the eyes of the mother who chose it and works with it everyday. Did my Grandma and my Mom spend so much time thinking about the table's details. How they hated that middle crack and would have preferred a seamless table but couldn't save enough money so they chose this one as a second best?

For me the dining table is the middle of the Home. It is where you have the chance to best bond with your family. Families that do NOT sit down for a meal together and don't sit together for a game or two or don't do their homework or any work or crafting with the company of the other family members are loosing out on something special.

Suddenly I'm wondering if I'm doing enough to make my house HOMEY.

Maybe it's the fact that we are not settled here. My grandparents' house is a settled house. My father's mother's father bought the house. i love the fact that they dedicated it as a safe haven for all family members. No matter what the troubles of life brings, there is always a place you can call Home where you will be welcome and have a roof over your head. I didn't know that growing up though. My mom told me that on her trip here when I had my son. I knew the house had been passed down and insha'Allah will always be passed down but I didn't know it had such an awesome dedication.

My house though is a rental. It was not be passed down. It was built swiftly so the landlord can make more money by having more tenants on this property. It's dedication is money. It will not always be my home (insha'Allah). I cannot customize it to my whims. It must just serve my needs until we decide where we will go next in our lives. It's like a road stop on our journey to our real home. Insha'Allah HE has prescribed for us a final Home and not just many road stops before we die.

I want that cozy feeling when I come in and take off my hijab and throw my abaya on the coat-rack and sit down at my table. I want that you-have-all-the-time-in-the-world feeling.
In Lebanon I was very close to having that feeling. In Nai'me, I had my Mediterranean View off the Balcony. I could sit in the morning and drink my coffee with Hubby and talk about life. I could spend the day playing with my daughter.

I had a dining table I loved.

It was a foldable kind that cost 60,000L.L.($40) but the top had a dark grey/black color with gold and red stripes and was smooth and shiny. It matched my decor. And it was almost homey. I was planning on making a table cover for it. But we moved and I never got the chance.

It was a homey house though with fond memories of singing and rocking my daughter to sleep in the hallway since it was the quietest part of the house.

For a few bad moments as I was looking at this blog I wanted Home so badly and I thought why isn't Allah giving me a Home? But I know He has His plans and so I'll wait. I just hope in the meantime I'm giving my kids a Home no matter where we are. I'm determined: Even on my plastic grooved table.

4 intelligent thoughts:

Francesca Najea Lujan said...

As-Salaamu-Alaikum Sis. Brandy,
I am always so so so homesick and I miss my dining room table too! I've been living in Morocco for 2 nd half years and I just got a small foldable table a few months ago and still don't have a single chair for it! Insh'Allah, experiences are more valuable than possessions.

American Muslima Writer said...

Awww habibi I feel for you!! Well erm can you make a makeshift chair out of a sturdy cardboard moving box? Somethings betta than nothing eh? lol.
You are sooo right expereinces are way more value!

mummyjaan said...

Hey Brandy; Salam alaikum. I read your post and can relate to this in some ways; I have been moving around, living in rented accommodation for the last few years and I long to give my children a 'settled' place that they can cherish and remember as they grow up.

I believe we can do this in any and every house we rent. As long as your children come home to warm and comforting you, I am sure they will carry many wonderful memories of your home. The details of the table don't matter, as you say. It's your comforting warmth as a mother that is important.

Thank you for adding my blog to the Allmuslimah list.

American Muslima Writer said...

You're so right MummyJaan, Mommy is the home :) Thanks for the encourage ment and you're very welcome for All Muslimah, we are glad to have you as a blogger getting your feelings out and showing people we Muslimahs have feelings too.

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