If you weren’t there, then you must be a square, or half of a square which makes a big, fat “L” and you know what that means… LOSER!!!
Seriously though, all of my kids fasted this year, three of which are pre-teens. They excitedly prayed tarawih prayers either at the masjid or at home (masha’allah, tabarakallah alaihim) so we decided to cough up the cash (and I mean pneumonia, bubonic plague type coughs) to treat them to this event. It was pretty awesome. The night before, the kids thought they would get to stay up all night, not! Their plot was discovered and they were promptly sent to bed at midnight. The next day, we stayed up after fajr. Dressing and grooming took place and we loaded up the car for the 3 hour drive to six flags. Our itinerary went something like this:
- Very Long Car Ride: We slept, HB drove. He considers us all traitors for not even offering stimulating conversation while he drove for 3 hours.
- We arrived in Jackson, NJ and gave the kids a potty break at the nearest gas station. While we were there and HB was getting some much needed mud-in-a-cup, the strangest thing occurred. The trees started to dance wildly as the wind blew. Their limbs bobbed and swayed dramatically. TQ said “It looks like their saying Allahu Akbar.” It really did. As we looked up at the the overcast sky, you could see the clouds being pushed towards the horizon. Small patches of blue could be seen through the spaces between. Just then, several cars drove up, about 4. All were muslim families arriving before entering the park. We love to see other muslims and we took these as signs that it would be a joyful, fun filled day.
- Our first stop was a drive through the safari, which was awesome. We saw herds of antelope crossing the street, ostriches with beautiful feathers and giraffes licking peoples cars. We saw lots of cattle like animals that I don’t know the name of (HB kept making references to steak, hunting and knowing how to tie a buffalo to the roof of our car) Samurai boy kept screaming “Let’s go to the park now! I don’t want to see the stupid animals!” After about 20 or so screeches like this from the back seat with the same answer of “Be patient, little boy,” we hear “Excuse me, excuse me, Abu. Can we please go to the park now, hunh? Can we, hunh? Please?” More polite of course but still the same answer, sorry dude.
- We arrive at the park gates, only to be suprised to know that parking is an additional $15 dollars!! WHAT!?! That wasn’t on the brochure. We fork over the (extra) cash and walk the distance to the park. I guess $15 is for cheap in-the-boondocks parking, imagine what the good parking must have cost.
- It really was just as they said it would be. Nasheeds played over the park speakers. Islamic goods of all kinds were being vended and the kids tried to ride every ride in the park. The athan was called for every salat as the people gathered to perform the prayer in the open air. HB decided to be super-dad and take daredevil extraordinaire TQ on a rollercoaster. He thought he was getting on the Batman and ended up on the Nitro. When they returned, HB was ranting about cruelty and inhumane treatment, evil, satan and how he would never ride another ride again in life. TQ called him a sissy but he was too upset about the ride to admonish her about it.
- I feared that the younger kids would get lost somehow, but in actuality it was I who traversed the path of the misplaced. Yep, big, grown-up me. I was lost for about an hour, and after walking from one end of the park to the other (twice) I found my family and was ready to leave. We packed it up, got in the car and drove to the nearest rest area to sleep for an hour and a half. We he was too exhausted to drive so we all took a nap. Before falling into dreamland, HB and I and suprisingly TQ sat in the food court drinking coffee, tea and soda respectively. The mood was somber as we watched a portion of the Palin-Boldin (or whatever his name is) debates. HB and I kept exchanging tired looks that could be read as “tired of lying candidates, tired of politics and tired of a full day of entertaining the kids.” TQ summed it up very nicely by saying “That Palin lady and that other guy, what’s his name are both so annoying.” You said it sister! We finally got it back on the road and arrived safely and soundly at our house at approx. 3:30 in the AM.
May Allah subhana wa ta’ala except all of our fasts, forgive our sins and increase us in emaan with blessings and goodness in this life and the next…. ameen.