Right, the boys have gotten their results. And I am happy to say that they have both performed really well this year, for both school and madrasah.
Both Little H and Big H achieved a level 'above what is expected of their age group' at school, which is beyond Level 3 for Little H and beyond Level 4 for Big H. For madrasah, Big H came 2nd in class whereas Little H came 1st! Poor Big H - he should have come first for the year because he got first in the first term but due to a little miscommunication/ misunderstanding on his part on what he was supposed to learn in his Supplications, he was short by a few points and the boy who got no 2 last term got no 1!!!
Takpelah, takde rezeki...I consider their achievements amazing. This is because the other boys in their classes are mostly of Arabic speaking nationalities and would have found their lessons - which is conducted mostly in Arabic - easy-peasy, when my boys know nought of the language! And yet...
Little H had been leading in terms of the marks from last term and from the daily reports he gave me during the exam week this term i.e. semua asyik full marks aje, we already expected him to come 1st in his class, MasyaAllah.
I think I should really thank Mr S this time. He was the one who has been hounding the kids to study, testing them at night weeks before the exam and testing them again the nights before the exams. Not to mention texting me on the phone from work to remind me to make sure the boys were studying during their holidays. Of course, that was exactly what I was doing anyway - making sure the boys were not just playing games during the day - but I do appreciate Mr S playing a bigger role in the kids' revision this time around, without me having to prompt him as usual!
Thanks Mr S. I know the boys may not understand now - they might complain and whine making things difficult for us everytime we ask them to study, but when they are older and wiser, inshaAllah they will remember our efforts and hopefully they will appreciate it and love us more for it. Amiin..
Saying all that, I was really upset with Little H on the last day at the madrasah - which was also their end of year party and prize giving day. I was waiting outside the madrasah door to pick up the boys, waiting for the Muallim to call the boys for me when Little H and Big H both appeared at the door, carrying a big box each. They both got a big water gun each for their wonderful exam results, apparently. I smiled at them but instead of smiling from ear to ear, Little H had a grimace on his face, and whilst he was still within the Muallim's earshot (not to mention all the parents there who were also waiting for their kids) he said loudly, "RUBBISH, RUBBISH, RUBBISH!" - clearly indicating that he was talking about their prizes!
For those of you who have been following this blog previously, you may know that Big H once received a bike for getting 1st in his madrasah class. The year after that, however, the boys did well once again but all they got was a large plastic bag filled with toys each.
To be honest, I wasn't surprised that their prizes that second year were just toys because I know how much we paid for the boys' fees, and I can guess roughly how many children there are in the madrasah and I know how many teachers teach there. It's not difficult to estimate their profit and loss account - the madrasah doesn't earn very much - I wouldn't even be surprised if they are a registered charity. So Big H was very lucky that year when he got the bike - a generous and charitable person must have donated them to the madrasah for prize-giving day.
Thus really, the boys were fortunate to get anything at all from their madrasah for their hard work during the year. And for Little H to complain loudly like that...I was really embarrassed and of course, angry with him! I quickly told him off quietly, on the spot, telling him it's rude to complain about a gift someone has generously given to you but he wasn't really listening. I then asked the boys to walk quickly to the car, ignoring any more complaints from Little H (Big H wasn't complaining - he had his neutral face on, 'graciously' letting Little H do all the whining!) because there were dark rain clouds in the sky and it looked like it was going to pour any second and since I was carrying Little N, I was obviously concerned about getting caught in the rain. But then I heard Little H say, none too softly, still within earshot of some of the parents; "But this came from a Pound Shop*, Mama!"
*(A Pound Shop is a shop that sells cheap things mostly for £1, here in the UK)
THAT was when the dark clouds in ME burst open! And do not doubt that there were thunder and lightning too!
As expected, I gave the boys a long and harsh lecture in the car on the way home about being grateful and thankful for what one receives and not to be so arrogant and snobbish about receiving less expensive things. And of course, I told them that they're learning at the madrasah to be good muslims, for Allah's reward later, not for the prizes they might get at the end of the year!
Little H was very quiet after that and of course, he wasn't in a good mood for the whole evening. He is a smart kid and very eloquent and fluent for his age but that doesn't mean I'm going to let him off for the inappropriate things that might come out of his smart mouth. Saying that, a kid is a kid and he was disappointed with his prize - which he was so excited to receive in the first place, so me being me, I had to 'console' him by showing him and Big H how cool actually their new toys were - they were huge after all and the water jets would go as far as 12m (according to the writing on the box) - you certainly would enjoy shooting at each other in the summer!, I told them. Thank God, that brightened Little H up a bit. And I reminded them that their Papa had promised them a present each for their good results so hopefully both of them will feel well rewarded for their hard work for the year when they receive them.
ALL that aside, masyaAllah, alhamdulillah, I am thankful to Allah for the boys' good achievements again this year. Hopefully both of them will work hard to keep it up - Mama will always pray for your success in this life and the hereafter, InshaAllah.
A little note to my boys:
Growing up is never easy, boys, and it's NOT just about getting good results. There are many things to learn in life and yet life is short. All I can say to you right now is work hard, be good, pray hard and be humble always and in the end just try your best.
InshaAllah, Allah will grant you your prayers.