Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby Bison

In honor of my baby boy becoming a big three-year-old boy today, I am going to share a story from last year.

Last year, at this time, he was just recovering from surgery. I had no energy to celebrate his birthday. The day came and went.

This year is going to be different.

I'm so thankful to Allah for what we've come through. Re-reading what I wrote a year ago helps my thankfulness grow.

Please read and remember to thank Allah for whatever challenges you are facing.

Baby Bison

The baby was resting, after two hours of wrangling with nurses and needles. Three pokes and only one success.

“I’m sorry, “said the exhausted nurse. “Usually, I have better luck.”

She had called in another nurse, this time from the ER, who had also failed.

“It’s his little veins. I keep digging and digging, but—“

I cut her off. I’m the girl who used to get faint in health class. I thought to be a nurse, like my grandmother and aunt, because I liked their white hats. I dropped the idea when I learned there was blood involved.

“It’s alright,” I comforted the two caregivers as I held my baby. “You are doing your best and that’s all I can ask. I can’t ask you to do more. I understand. I don’t fault you. Let me just calm him down and we can try again. God willing, we will get it this time.”

So, I surrendered him once more to being swaddled in the “baby burrito” while he looked at me with big dewy brown eyes. Those eyes searched me for the reason why I would allow this treatment; this seemingly cruel treatment. I reassured him the way I could.

“Bismallah a Rahman a Raheem. Alhumdullah Rabena ala meen. A Rahman. A Raheem. Maliki aw madeen…”

I spoke the opening verse of the Quran in his ear. It sounds like singing to recite Quran. The nurses probably thought I was singing. I didn’t tell them the words were holy messages from God; The Benevolent and Merciful.

I have a secret pleasure in sharing Quran with unsuspecting listeners. If anyone ever asks me about my Arabic language ability, I recite Quran, but in more of a conversational tone. I’ve shared The Message without ever letting them know.

The Quran is special. It is! Subhanallah! Created by God! At the zoo, which the baby and I go to all the time, I recite Quran for the animals. They listen.

There was a huge bison; a buffalo, chewing in the middle of its pen. We stood at the tall chain link fence, the baby and I, and I called to him.

“Hey! Hi!”

No response.

“Asalamalaykom!” That’s the Muslim greeting which wishes peace from Allah.

Then, I went for The Fatiha, the opening verse. I said it loudly enough for the words to reach him, as he snorted out there in his field. I got no further than “Rahman” before he charged the fence. Subhanallah! He actually heard Quran and charged to the fence, then stopped right in front of me and listened. I told it all. No one else was around in this magical moment---just me, the baby and the bison.

Now, my baby was the bison. He was the wild beast reduced to only thinking of immediate need and the need to escape from pain. I recited Quran to him as he screamed.

“That’s good, mom,” called the nurse. “Keep singing. We’ve almost got it. There!”

Third time was the charm.

I got to hold him again. I unwrapped him from the imprisoning blanket and took his hot, sweaty, suffering body from its encasement. He held onto me and took in the satisfying breaths of relief. His hand searched, with IV attached, and taped underneath it the padded board. His hand searched for my hair.

Do you know how many times I complained that he was pulling my hair? It hurt. I would get upset. And now? Standing there, after all that had gone on for hours of failed attempts and different nurses and new ideas and tries? Well, I loved that tug on my hair. I loved that my boy knew how to find comfort and that I was his connection to calm.


Safiyyah said...

As Salaamu Alaikum Dear Sister:

Wow; that was a very touching post, Masha Allah. May Allah (swt) give your little bison many many more birthdays/Ameen.

UmmAbdurRahman said...

nice to see you blogging again yosra. i haven't heard form you since you moved.

most people cannot understand the pain until you see your little one hurting so badly. This brings me back to when abdu had open heart surgery. ten long days were spent in the hospital and i was so happy when it was done.

wish the little man a happy birthday for me. wow! 3 already. he sure has grown.

Shabana said...

Assalamualaikum! wow, i just happened to come upon your blog after seeing your name on another blog's comments section. Looks like you're back and that things are looking up again, alhamdulillah. I enjoyed reading your posts, eloquent as they always were, masha allah.

I have an 8 month old and when he nurses, if he's able to catch hold of my hair, he tugs on it while he's drinking I love that! Of course, eventually the gentle tugs lead to painful pulling, which i don't love. :-)

Yosra said...

Asalamalaykom Safiyyah, UmmAbdurrahman, and Shabana,

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad to have you reading and sharing in my life. It sure beats saying all this to myself!

The truth is that I only truly process my thoughts when I share them. That's been true for years. So, this process of blogging does help figure out life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

One thing I really love is hearing the shared experiences from all of you that make our lives seem more simmilar than disimmilar. It raises the empathy bar and definately feels as if the path we're on is not as lonely a journey.

Faith Confusion said...