Some of my friends and relatives think that I and my husband are so cold-hearted to send our dearest daughter Shofi to an Islamic boarding school in Jakarta. With accusing tone in their voice, they say that what my daughter experience in the dorm: being far away from our house, no Mommy to kiss her goodnight or to hug after school every day, all those experience they could never bear to happen to any 12-year-old children. But to us, we do it for one main reason: because it makes her happy.
Happy, are you kidding me? Definitely. Shofi said she doesn’t really like to hang around with ‘bad’ girls, and a boarding school is the place for selected, good girls. BTW, never imagine that her dormitory is disgusting, with lumpy mattresses, unhealthy food and harsh discipline. We have selected the best boarding school for her, with better facilities than what she had before in her elementary school. Her school gives all the facilities and opportunities for all students to engage with and experience age-appropriate activities like sports, marching band, and many more. OK, let me just elaborate with my further explanation:
First of all, I’m a full-time government officials, and I’m a dedicated worker. My educations and my skills are fully utilized in my job and I love it. I think I’m not meant to be a stay-at-home mom because sometimes I feel like I can’t handle all house works and child caring by myself. I’m yelling to my kids, especially to the rebellious Shofi, when things are getting out of my hands and that’s terrible, for both of us. So, being away for some years for us might give time to improve our mother-daughter relationship I hope.
Secondly, Shofi is a very sociable person, and she prefers to be with her own kind as she becomes a teenager. Sure it’s nice, as a parent, to be able to see our kids every day. But now, to be honest, our daughter is being not nearly as into us as we are into her, so we just let her be with her peers from the moment she wakes up, so we must be OK with that.So, it will be safe if she’s around those pious girls every time.
Third, there is the superior pastoral care, so it’s not the harsh and cruel discipline at all. Her matron, we called her Musyrifah, really emphasizes on Islamic manners, punctuality, Islamic dress code, mutual respect for fellow students and high respect for staff and parents, which I think I can’t provide perfectly well myself as a mom. And I see all girls there really love their Musyrifah and look up to her since she’s also a good role model for them. The teachers at her school there also nurture our daughter so well; I just can’t do it as I myself face abundant tasks as a government officer for my country. I think I leave my daughter with the right people.
Fourth, Shofi once said that she would love to study both secular subjects and Islamic studies , and her school provides both. So, sending her to her new school now is the best decision for us. And yes, her academic achievement there is satisfactorily, so I have no worries at all with her education. She’s also active in marching band, gymnastics team, art department, girl scouting, and many more…great experience in her young age.
And finally, Shofi is so happy that she can manage her own money, for I give her a sufficient allowance once in a month. To her it’s a freedom to control her budget and to make her own decisions. I hope that she will not not abuse it; I just hope that she can be very responsible with her money and spend it carefully and wisely. She was used to be frugal when she was in her elementary school…
So, these reasons are far more important than my shed tears…I think about her every day, every moment of my life although we are not always together, you know. A mom is a mom…but I must educate my kids the best way we can provide, so I will not going to regret sending her to Pesantren Darunnajjah. All I need to do is keep praying for her best in life, aamiin… We love you, shofi. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Be happy there as always, baby! 🙂