Can you imagine yourselves without food and water for few hours? The mere thought itself is daunting right. During the end of the summer vacation in the hot summer month, we knew that the month of Ramadan was coming. When we think about Ramadan, the only one thing to remember is fasting. We need to get up in the early morning around 3.15 AM for a light breakfast. The deadline time to eat and drink will end by 4 to 4.15 AM. The whole day we need to fast till 6.40 PM with no intake of food and water. The fasting period is challenging even for adults. But the essence of the fasting teaches everyone patience and endurance. When millions of people go hungry every day because of their economy, war and other reasons, this is a period to fast by purpose and expressing our solidarity with the people around the world.
So as expected the fasting period arrived with a great beginning. Since we have to eat the pre-dawn meal before we begin the fasting I asked my elder son who is around 11 yrs to join us. He woke up with great difficulty and on top of that asking him to eat anything in the morning was really challenging. The very first day, he did the fasting for us and with a little frustration. Few days passed and he was continuing the same but with less interest. Because, when he sees any yummy food in the day time he will think to himself, "Why did I, do the fast man"?. He carried on for the next few days.
His school reopened for the next academic year. As he is entering the 6th grade, his school timings have got changed and he had to get up early in the morning. It was a difficult phase for him and the whole family. We were slowly transitioning to the new schedule. I told him, "Honey since the schedule is so early if you like to leave the fasting, you can quit and focus on the studies". He said, "Maybe, let's see". So the first day of school he was on fasting. In the evening I was expecting a frustrated son. To my surprise, he came with a broad smile and said, "I did it successfully". He came to the home with no fuss. Next day, again I reiterated on the decision to fast. He stood strong and said that he wanted to continue the same. I was a little surprised. He continued relentlessly with no further frustration or funny faces. When I counted the number of days he fasted, it stood for 29 days out of 30 which is a huge leap from the last year.
It was a great moment to cherish as I could see a great difference from last year to this year. His sheer determination and a little encouragement from us helped him to accomplish the goal. What I initially thought was not possible was made possible by him. As parents, we may think too much from the children's perspective on anything related to their goals and their ability to attempt certain attributes of life. I realized a little motivation and patience can bring our children up to the speed of our expectation without harming their innate freedom. It may be fasting for my son, but it may be a different scenario for your son or daughter. All we need to do is holding on their energy levels in their peak performance which is possible in all aspects of life. It is all in our hands to make anything from impossible to possible. All excuses from our end can be wrapped up and put in a corner and let that sleep forever.