It's official: I survived 4 weeks without Starbucks! I feel like I just completed rehab!
Hooray for the Little Moon Committee (alright, technically the "Shawwal Crescent Committee") who, last night at around 8:15pm, looked up at the sky, saw what they perceived to be a new moon, and officially declared the month of fasting to be over (respectfully, it felt a little like waiting for the groundhog to see his shadow, but with an awful lot more at stake). Now the UAE and all the other Arab nations launch into 3 days of national holiday ("Eid al Fitr") wherein Muslims spend time with family, exchange gifts, and, you gotta assume, eat til they can't eat no more. I honestly don't know how Ramadan-observers do it; the closest I've ever come to such a marathon accomplishment is ONE annual day fasting on Dome Slippur (if you know what I mean), and even then, I'm usually entering light delusion by 4pm.
So this is great news, not only because it means that restaurants are open again during daylight hours, but also because I assume that the general mood around here will lighten up (as an example, whilst recently browsing the polyester-laden racks of my local "Forever 21," I asked a salesperson about the notable absence of hard-core gangsta rap that typically graces the speakers there; the lady looked at me like *I* had just used the n-word and replied, "Madam, we don't PLAY music during Ramadan!"). Now if only I could get these rascally kids out of the house again (curiously, the neighborhood nursery is only closed for 2 days, while Sushi's AMERICAN academy is closed for an entire week), I could get back to my regularly scheduled life. Between our summer travel and the start of classes and the wonky Ramadan-related hours of everything (this month the schools all opened later and closed earlier than usual, a gut-wrenching combination for a permanently sleep-deprived mother whose heart soars at the sight of a miniature backpack disappearing around a corner), it feels like AGES since we've been in a normal routine. (Sadly, Daddy and I never did make it to an after-sundown iftar celebration, though not for lack of trying: we finally managed to sneak out one night only to find that we were too late for dinner and too early for drinks. Thus, the best I can provide you with is a snapshot of the girls peering into an empty iftar courtyard set up at the mall... too bad I don't have the sufficient technological skills or else I would have photoshopped in some henna painters and masked falcons and food-fetishy debauchery.)
Also in the good news category is that the long-dreaded weather situation has very suddenly improved: several times over the past 2 days I have actually been able to open the door WITHOUT my glasses becoming instantly opaque with condensation. In fact, this evening the kids even spent some time *outside* for the first time since May; I can't tell you what joy filled my heart as Alice filled our kiddie pool. Hey, kids, Mommy has an idea: RUN ALONG AND PLAY.
I'd write more, but I'm utterly drained from yet another tedious bedtime battle (eventually Daddy and I are going to have to once-and-for-all choose between competing strategies when it comes to Screamer: No nap + soul-sucking evening meltdowns + delightfully early bedtime? *OR* Nap + pleasant disposition + she wants to stay up to watch Leno?) (Editor's Note: No child of MINE will ever watch Leno, dammit!). Just wanted to let you know that this era of pitifully sub-par homemade coffee beverages is, thankfully, over, and wish you and yours a happy Eid al Fitr... or Hosh Mashmanah, as the case may be. ;) xo.