The Magpie

My husband's work badge was missing. It was a weekend, so we weren't too worried. It would turn up somewhere.I was cleaning and searching at the same time. While making my daughter's bed, I noticed an unopened can of condensed milk wedged next to the wall. I grinned, my daughter loves to lick the spoon when I make Brazilian lemonade, so she must have been saving some for rough times. There was more. I reached down and found a glittery pipe cleaner, my metal measuring spoons, and .... the … [Read more...]

Hajj Chronicles II: The Little Things

It's the little things that people do, that have others praying for them, without them even realizing, and may be the reason they enter Paradise.While we were sitting in the Haram in Makkah, on the third floor, I noticed people fidgeting in front of me, and then slowly I noticed the crowds flicking a large cockroach or cricket-type bug around.  When you're sitting in a crowd of a million, there's no place for this insect to go but onto another person.  And so it got dangerously near me.  And … [Read more...]

The Silver Birch Tree

I love trees. I love to gaze at them, sit under them, draw them, study them, paint them, climb them and sometimes feel a peaceful solidarity with them. Growing up, I had a silver birch tree in our yard. In so many ways that tree was my first best friend. I had a blue and white swing set that was placed under the tree. I swang and swang and stared up at those lofty tree branches for most of my outdoor time. It was my club house, my fort, my place of peace and protection.I learned my first … [Read more...]

Friday Patty-Cake

A Father's ReflectionI opened my palms in prayer at the end of the Friday khutbah.  Along with a couple thousand other Jum’a-goers, I dutifully replied ameen after the Imam’s heartfelt and well spoken supplications.  Like everyone else, I certainly aim for God’s generous reply to my prayers.  God All-Knowing and full of Love for His creations knows best how to answer our prayers.This Friday however, the reply to my ameen was a generous slap on both my palms by none other than the gentle f … [Read more...]

Muslim Relief Efforts in Haiti

A convoy from Islamic Relief left for Haiti two days ago.  This is the first post from one member of this convoy, on their second day in the region.Day Two – January 17, 2010Santa Domingo, Dominion RepublicWe have hooked up with a British aid group called Muslim Hands and a Muslim group from Trinidad & Tobago. An operations base has been set up at a huge Islamic Center in Santa Domingo. Our assignment was to find any Muslim survivors in Port-au-Prince. Through our masjid contacts in Sa … [Read more...]

Tea, Please

The right cup of tea at the right moment can turn your whole day around. It’s amazing how one sip of the warm brew can settle your nerves and remind you to breathe again. There are so many life events, milestones and deep conversations that are coupled with a cup of tea in hand. The fondest for me, are the moments with my parents.I once attended a tea party in my honor. I had just gotten married and moved to a new city. I didn’t know anyone well. The women were playing a game and asked me, “W … [Read more...]

As the Twins Get Older

The girls were sitting,On the trunk of the car,Looking at the world,Near and far,When one noticed the emblem,And asked what it was,I read, “Nissan”,And told them what it does.When they heard the word,They did something bizarre.They both stuck their tongues,Out really far.Puzzled, I asked them,What they were doing.They pointed once more,So I told them again.Both tongues came out,As if pulled by a cord,And I almost decided,This should just be ign … [Read more...]

Between These Four Walls

This may be categorized under the heading ‘too much information’ but I was in the bathroom the other day and on my way out, instead of opening the door, I just leaned on it. For about 10 minutes I just stood their frozen, paralyzed almost at the magnitude of the responsibilities that lie just outside the bathroom door. It was as if it had suddenly become a portal—instead of a potty—into a world of calm and I was unexpectedly in a place of serene solitude and I just wanted to stay there a little … [Read more...]

Tossing the Subscription

It felt like a turning point to me, but maybe I’m overanalyzing it. Going through the mail the other day, I came across the renewal card for my subscription to a parenting magazine I have been getting for what seems like a zillion years. And for the first time in five or six of those years, I threw it into the recycling pile without a moment’s thought. I knew without even thinking that I was done with being told month after month how to be the perfect parent.God knows I need all the par … [Read more...]

One True Love?

We do not do Disney Princesses. Growing up a tomboy and then into a student of social justice, I thought I had enough reasons to keep princess culture at bay. But I recently realized another one - the idea of a One True Love (OTL).There are the standard arguments centered around race/ethnicity and gender. Most Disney princesses are either White or Anglicized versions of other ethnicities which can be very harmful for the self-image of non-White young girls (remember the Clark doll … [Read more...]