GrowBaba Blast from the Past: My Mom Promised Me A Skyline

Growbaba spotlights provide a space for Muslim fathers to share their voice, reflections, and insights with our community.Let’s admit it folks, there is nothing more quenching to the embattled soul than long awaited sweet revenge. Don’t worry, no blood or terror here –though there are definitely battle scars.You see, back when this 44 year-old father of three was in 6th grade, they used to ask me, “how can you just stand there?” and “why don’t you fight back?.”Day after dreary Midwest … [Read more...]

A Valentine for Everyone

I walk into the department store looking for gloves. Suddenly I’m surrounded by a sea of pink, red, and all shades in between. Everywhere I look there are heart shaped chocolates. I prefer my chocolates to be square, they just feel more sophisticated. But to each his or her own. Some hundreds of years ago, so goes the legend, there was a saint by the name of Valentine, who was imprisoned and fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. He became a martyr and this day was created to celebrate h … [Read more...]

Sweet and Sour

I roll out the prayer mat and place my feet, shoulder width apart, onto the rug. I pause and take a few deep breaths to focus on the act I am about to begin. I whisper Allah’s name over and over again until I feel the tension within break apart, feel my chest expand and my muscles loosen. I make my intention and raise my hands to my ears. Allahu Akbar. I move slowly through the first rakah, praying with the mindfulness that Allah is watching me. I move into sajdah, forehead and nose touching t … [Read more...]

The Cup

I usually don’t read parenting books. Not because I have anything against them per se, but when I’m not parenting, I’d rather not read about it. Plus, there are so many approaches out there, it often feels like I’m shouldering the burden of cynicism as I approach a specific methodology. Attach, but don’t attach too much for the sake of your sanity. Discipline, but fill their memory banks with a treasure trove of warm fuzzies. Stick to schedules; train your kids to be flexible. Be present, lean in … [Read more...]

Secret Weapon

Deep within the depths of the world wide web, a secret power is being harvested all across the United States. The brains behind the operation is Hala Amer, of Fair Lawn, NJ. She is the founder and ringmaster of the Muslim Mom Network (MMN). Founded in 2006 and nearly 500 strong (a modest number by most means) the group's strength lies in its' call to action. A young mother in need of diapers? Within minutes, members flock to the internet to send them her way. And in a matter of days, the … [Read more...]

Life Lessons I Learned Living Abroad

We stepped off the plane, walked to baggage claim and waited...and waited. Our luggage never made it to our connecting flight. We took a cab through our new and unknown country. Upon arriving at our apartment, we find the door is locked. I look down at my children and back at my husband as we stood on a desolate street, tired and hungry, with only the clothes on our backs. At that instant, I was filled with a sudden feeling of dread. What had I done? I made a terrible mistake! After all, it was … [Read more...]

My Friend the Alcoholic

The scholars say “You are on the path  of your company, so choose them wisely.” I did choose wisely. I met a woman who was a good mother with a warm, charitable heart and a beautiful smile. She was my running partner for six years. We ran miles and miles through wooded paths along the West Virginia mountains. Some days we could hear morning dew trickle off the leaves and ricochet down lush, green foliage. The sun poked it’s rays through the forest canopy and our hands and face basked in it’s war … [Read more...]

Mother Goose

It was a dark and chilly night, but she did not budge from her position. There was  an absolute sense of focus and fearlessness in her eyes. She was determined and remained steadfast in her goal. She knew what she had to do. It was what Allah had intended for her. Nothing could stop her from keeping her baby gosling eggs warm and safe in their nest. There is so much for us to learn from this mother goose, such as how to own the roles and responsibilities that Allah has given us. Before we can … [Read more...]

A Beautiful Moment

My husband and I had a beautiful moment the other day, thanks to the kindness of a stranger. An event which at once beckoned us to remember Allah and His infinite blessings on us, amidst the madness that is often mealtime with kids. Those with children know exactly what I am talking about. We sat waiting for our breakfast at a favorite brunch spot, when suddenly our two girls became nostalgic for their beloved children’s song, one they ask for constantly and can never get enough of. As they b … [Read more...]

GrowBaba Spotlight: Boys Don’t Have To Be Boys

Go right ahead. Don’t worry. We all pee sitting down here, so the toilets really are clean. Reluctantly but proudly, I now comfortably state what used to be a defensive awkward moment for me when friends or family generously allow me lead time to check our bathrooms before their use… or make gentle remarks or gestures about the presumed lack of cleanliness of our toilets because of the four males that live here: me and my three sons. Newsflash: boys really can always pee sitting down. As a fat … [Read more...]