I was born with a smile on my face.
My mummy told me I was born with a smile on my face. She says that I was always happy, even though I never wanted to sleep because I didn’t want to miss anything.
I had many reasons to be happy when I was little. My baba always took me swimming at Alrabea Pool, which was my favorite thing to do. Going to the swings was my second favorite thing to do. I would also go to the market with my uncles to get Jell-O. (Always red,
because that is the best flavor.) My family would go to eat at restaurants, and I would get to talk to many different people. Or we would eat dinner all together many nights at Grandma Alabed’s house, and there were always a lot of people there because I have so many aunts and uncles and four grandparents and two great-grandmothers. I had many books I loved to read, especially my favorite, Snow White. I love all stories about princesses.
And another big reason to be happy: my baby brother. I prayed that Mummy would have a girl,
because I wanted a sister very badly. But my brother was tiny and cute, with thick black hair that was soft like a doll’s—so it wasn’t so bad that he was a boy. When Mummy was pregnant, I picked out a name for a sister: Warda, which means “flower,” because another thing I love is flowers. But you can’t call a boy Warda. Instead the name we gave him is Liath (which means “Lion”) Mohamed. We call him Mohamed.
I was only three when Mohamed was born, but I took care of him. I would bring Mummy nappies when she needed to change him, share my toys with him, and say “Shush, shush” when he was crying.
At night I got to hold Mohamed in my lap, and Mum would sit next to us on the sofa in the living room and read to us. Baba would come in and sit in his favorite chair and listen to Mummy read too. When she was done with the story, I would go over and climb into Baba’s lap while Mummy put Mohamed to bed. Mum would tell Baba that he should take me to bed too, but we both liked it better when I fell asleep on his chest. He would tell me stories from when he was little and some that he made up. My favorite was the one about a mummy sheep who leaves her babies at home and tells them not to open the door for anyone unless
they know the secret word, and then a wolf comes and tricks the babies into thinking he is their mother. They open the door, and the wolf eats the sheep! I hate that part. But the mummy gets the sheep out of the wolf’s stomach and puts rocks in there instead.
I could feel Baba’s voice through his chest as he told me the stories, and it would make me feel warm inside. The best place to be was in Baba’s lap.
So, not many bad things happened to my family. Mummy would say that we are blessed. I thought my family would always be happy.