It was a beautiful spring day, and Manal was playing outside. She was using chalk to draw different pictures on the driveway. So far she had made a rainbow, a hopscotch game, and three happy face drawings. Right now, she was working on a picture of a tiger.
Manal loved to draw almost as much as she liked to work in the garden. Her mom had bought some brand new chalk for her last week, and Manal was making sure none of them broke off or rolled down onto the street. She looked up to see her dad trimming the shrubs, and called out to him.
‘Baba, come see my pictures!’, she said.
Baba stopped his work and looked over to Manal. ‘Give me a few minutes, sweety. I’ll come by as soon as I’m done with this plant.’, he replied.
Just then her mom and baby brother came out of the house. Her mother was carrying baby Yusuf, and they both walked by to admire Manal’s drawings. ‘Be careful, Mama! Don’t let Yusuf mess up my stuff!’’, warned Manal.
‘I’ve got him, don’t you worry Manal. I love your rainbow! How about I make some clouds around it? Do you have any white chalk?’, asked her mom.
‘Sure, Mama’, said Manal handing her some chalk. Yusuf was clapping his little hands and gurgling happily at everyone, when Manal turned to look at him, just as she was closing the box of chalk.
Suddenly the box slipped out of her hands and all the chalk rolled down the driveway. ‘Oh no!!’, she cried out, starting to run after her chalk pieces. Her dad was heading over to see her drawings, when he saw the chalk rolling away and quickly raced to help. Luckily, the chalk had fallen by the sidewalk, and they found all of them easily.
Manal walked angrily towards her brother. ‘Yusuf! That was all your fault! You made me drop all the chalk and now I’m very very mad at you!!’
‘Manal! What do you mean? He didn’t do anything!’, said her mother. Yusuf started to cry and Mama tried to calm him down.
‘Sweety, I think you’re upset about dropping the chalk, but we found all of them. Everything’s fine, you know’, consoled her dad.
‘No! He was talking, so I got distracted. It’s his fault I dropped them. He’s always messing everything up!’. Manal was very angry.
Her parents looked at each other, while Manal stomped away and sat down on the front steps. Her mom and dad came to sit with her. Her brother had stopped crying and was happily sucking his pacifier now.
‘Manal, you know Yusuf was just happy to see you. And I agree, he does get into your stuff sometimes, but what happened just now was an accident. You know he doesn’t know what he’s doing as yet, he’s only a baby.’, explained her mom.
Manal shrugged and swiped at her tears. ‘But he does mess up my stuff a lot!’, she replied, still angry.
‘Manal, what’s the rule of thumb when you get mad?’, asked her dad.
‘Stay on track, don’t bring up old matters back.’, recited Manal grudgingly. She said it a couple more times and took a deep breath. ‘You’re right Mama. I’m sorry Yusuf.’ She gave him a smile and kissed his cheek.
‘I’m glad you feel better honey. Yusuf and I will go inside, and make some lemonade. Why don’t you finish up your drawing and come on in afterward?’, suggested her mom.
‘Thanks Mama, I will. You know, Baba, I like that thumb rule. I give it a big thumbs up! Thank you for reminding me.’, said Manal wiggling both her thumbs at her father.
Her dad chuckled. ‘I like that rule too, and I’m proud of you calming down so quickly. Let’s go finish up your drawings now, and don’t worry I won’t distract you or drop the chalk box!’, he teased.
“Baba!! You’re forgetting the rule! No bringing up old matters remember?’, she teased him back.
They both laughed and went to finish their masterpieces.
Story inspiration : “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous. Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men, for Allah loves those who do good.” (3:133-134)
“It is not lawful for a Muslim to desert (stop talking to) his brother beyond three nights, the one turning one way and the other turning to the other way when they meet, the better of the two is one who is the first to greet the other.” [Bukhari]
18 thoughts on “Rule of thumb”
This is a great post! This doesn’t apply only to kids but also to us, adults. There are some of us who find forgiving others hurt their ego.
Need to share this with my daughter! She is always complaining about her younger sister
love this post and the reminder of the need to forgive and forget. Love the last comment of not bringing up things from the past. 🙂
Masha Allah. This would make a great short story picture book 🙂 This is such a wonderful lesson for children as well as adults, as we often get so caught up in this wordly life that we find ourselves procrastinating on forgiveness or holding grudges.
Subhan Allah, if we applied such simple rules of thumb to all facets of our lives..how much more peaceful things would be!
thank you for the reminder
May Allah forgive us for the broken ties….
What a great story! I could totally relate. I have a two year old and a seven month old, and I’m pretty sure I’ve lived out this story before.
Love the rule of thumb 🙂 A great way to teach children about not bringing up the past. It’s beautiful because it applies whilst your in conversation and afterwards too. I.e. once it’s over, stay on track and don’t even think back to the disagreement. Great reminder!
Beautiful reminder, sister.
Awh, great lesson to teach kids. Not to dwell on the past *thumbs up
Keeping on track and not get sidetracked by old stuff is so important and sometimes hard to do. It’s a great reminder in a lovely little story.
Love this post, when my children get upset I tell them to stop and take a deep breath and contemplate your next move before speaking.
How easy it is to dig up old issues even when we think its buried and forgotten.
We all need this ‘rule of thumb’ in our lives – to forgive in excess always.
What a beautiful blog. I normally skim through blogs but your piece forces me to read all of it. Hope to read such stories with lovely reminders in future too!
Thank you. That is so nice to hear:-)
Thanks for sharing!
That’s the best rule of thumb. I will definitely share this with my kids. My daughter needs it badly. Thanks a lot of this.
What a great reminder! I’m a grown up and I’m still trying to learn not to over react to situations and think before I speak!