On typical working days, the part  which I really look forward to is the time to go back home from work. I suppose the same goes for anyone else, but for me, the real reward that I yearn for is to be with the kids after a day’s work. Always. Everyday.

Yet I don’t know if my daughters are able to comprehend or appreciate this fatherly feeling inside of me. At least, my second daughter, Aneesah, seems to show more ‘empathy’ when I open up to hug her than my eldest, Sakeenah. Whilst her younger sister tries to grab my attention, Sakeenah remains seemingly blunt and unmoved by my return. Perhaps intentionally, perhaps not. Deep inside, my inner voice would ask her: “Don’t you miss me?”

She would simply look at me from the corner of her eyes as if to say in reply: “Don’t you miss me?”

She’s a smart girl. Politically mindful, I would say. In the end, I would give in and would have to chase after her (she would run away cheekily) to get a hug. Aneesah, on the other hand, would be left behind, confused and unaware of what the whole commotion is about. As much as possible I would try to give equal attention to both but being human would mean that there’s always the probability that my effort can turn out to be lopsided. There are odd times, however, when Sakeenah would suddenly come by and give a small peck on my cheek. In the end, all that matter is that I know she knows that I love her. In a book called Adab Al-Mufrad, Imam Bukhari mentioned a hadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):

Jarir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah will not show mercy to a person who does not show mercy to other people.”

Inspired by a colouring photo shot of Sakeenah’s friend, Alia1, masya-Allah, my wife and I decided to buy colour pencils and colouring books for our daughters too. Of course, the one to make sense of the colour pencils at first is Sakeenah. Aneesah learns quickly because she has her elder sister as her role model. In most cases, however, we would have to keep an eye on Aneesah since almost everything she sees is deemed edible. Here’s a video clip of her drawing her Abi, masya-Allah. Even though I am seen as merely straight lines, at least I’m still part of her ‘landscape’ drawing. Speaking of which, I wonder what happened to Ummi? Oh yes, she’s busy cooking delicious food for us in the kitchen! I assume that this is the logical reason behind Ummi’s absence in the drawing. At the end of the clip, you will see Sakeenah drumming on the chair with her colour pencil. Wherever she learned that from??

Love you lots, kids! – Abi & Ummi

1Posted with permission from Alia’s mum (Farhana Mohd Fadzil) and dad (Mohd Aizat Yaacob) – picture was initially posted on Facebook ( October 21 at 12:24am)