Pin It
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Unexpected Gifts on the Declaration of the Bab

By
raising-global-citizens/ Adam Borkowski - Fotolia.com

Our mothers and grandmothers often do not know how their actions touch us. I was reminded of this truth when I read what my daughter, Shira, wrote about her memories of her grandmother’s visit to our home two years ago on the Declaration of the Bab. This is a Baha’i holy day that commemorates the Bab’s revelation to his first disciple that he was the one who would prepare the way for the coming of the Promised One, Baha’u’llah.* I was surprised that my mother’s presence in our home on a holy day she did not usually celebrate with us had left such a deep impression on my daughter for whom the Declaration of the Bab is now forever linked with memories of this special family time.

 

Shira is 13 now and describes herself as a musician and a writer. She has played the violin since she was very young, and she is an avid reader. Sometimes I ask her to read the articles I write for InCultureParent before I submit them. I know that if something in the article doesn’t ring true for her, I should probably change it. Shira knows how a story works, so much so that she can predict how most books she reads will end well in advance of finishing them! As for me, I could not have predicted how the story she wrote about my mother, her grandmother, would end, nor could I anticipate the moral she would draw from that experience.

 


In celebration of our mothers and grandmothers, Shira offers this story.


-Sandra Lynn Hutchison

 
In the summer of my tenth year, my grandmother visited us in Maine for the first time. She arrived on the day Baha’is commemorate the Declaration of the Bab, and it seemed as though my grandmother’s arrival on this holy day was a gift from God, although my mother credits it to our sly ingenuity. Instead of giving my grandmother the routine reiteration of the invitation to come to Maine, we simply bought a plane ticket and gave it to her in a stark white envelope for her birthday.

 

I will never forget that moment of suspense as we waited for the passengers on my grandmother’s plane to disembark. Every single passenger had left the plane before my grandmother finally appeared. She did not, it seems, want to get caught in the rush of people. At last, we saw her making her way down the ramp, holding her head high. My grandmother always has an air of dignity, which is indispensable, a crucial part of her personality. My grandmother resists all types of help, and I will never be able to erase the image of her brushing away an airport attendant’s hand.

 

The whole family was in for another surprise though. My little cousin, Kenji, was due to be born in a couple of weeks. However, that same night, in the early morning hours of May 23rd, the very hours during which the Bab had revealed to his first disciple that he had come to prepare the way for the Promised One, Kenji arrived, healthy and happy. While we waited by the phone to hear the joyous news of my cousin’s birth, I suddenly understood the importance of cherishing each gift that is given to you. As my grandmother’s visit taught me, sometimes one gift can prepare you for another, unexpected gift.

 

*May 22rd, 1844 is the day on which Siyyid Ali Muhammad, the Bab, revealed to a single follower that he was the prophet destined to prepare the way for the Promised One, Baha’u’llah. The Bab declared his mission to Mulla Husayn in the upper room of his house in Shiraz, Iran two hours after sunset on May 22 and stayed with his first disciple until dawn the next day answering his questions.

© 2011 – 2013, Shira Hollinger. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?

Should spanking be part of your parenting toolkit to have well behaved kids?

Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

The secret of why African babies don't meltdown like Western ones.

10 Best World Maps for Your Children’s Room

Because every little global citizen needs a map

All I Want for Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children

Why OPOL has been harder than we thought.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Born in Hong Kong, Shira Hollinger is a global citizen with a global outlook. She has traveled widely and has family in three countries: Canada, the United States and Scotland. Shira takes great pride in her music and writing. She plays in a number of orchestras and chamber groups and has published poetry and stories in various newspapers and magazines. She is the editor of THINK magazine, a magazine for teens, which she launched and for which she writes. Shira is 13 and entering grade 9. She is deeply interested in the environment, serving as secretary to Sustainable Orono, a transition town group, and working as a Junior Master Gardener in a number of community gardening projects, including Plant a Row for the Hungry. She is being raised as a Baha'i and will enroll in the faith when she is 15

Leave us a comment!

2 Comments
  1. CommentsUncle Cam   |  Thursday, 09 June 2011 at 2:30 pm

    This brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing this special memory with us. Both Grammy and Kenji, I am sure, will cherish this forever.

  2. CommentsLinda Gregory   |  Sunday, 04 March 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I am in awe of Shira’s talent and what a beautiful story!









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

More The Religious Life of Children