Picking Apart a Pomegranate

Many things remind me of fall. Stomping on crunchy leaves as a kid, volleyball practice as a high-schooler, and yams baking in the oven, always. These memories are cozy ones and are reignited as the humidity of summer is replaced with early morning dew. And maybe this one particular memory is so embedded in my mind because baba and I have made it tradition…Baba walks into my room. "I think you should put on a shirt that you don't really like. Or, one you don't mind staining."I rummage t … [Read more...]

Achtung Baby

  In getting the house prepped for a baby I became mindful of dangers around the house.  I could see how outlets were the perfect size for tiny fingers and therefore covered them.  I understood that bottle caps could be unscrewed (generally by the gums) and the poisonous cleaning product contained, ingested; so I moved them to high cupboards and shelves.  However there were things I wasn’t ready for, and have come to realize that danger lies around the most benign corn … [Read more...]

Force of Nature

I am in love with this quote, which I found in a dear friend's signature:"This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."-George Bernard ShawIn the incessant balancing act of motherhood, between validating the … [Read more...]

The Day I Wrote a Check

(This post was written a couple of years ago and is dedicated to all mothers who've ever tried to write a check...)So, it's really busy business being a mommy. Whenever someone asks me what I do, I answer, "I'm 'just' a mother.' And then I explain that being a mommy is busy business, but I rack my brains to remember why it's a busy business... Can't I do more with my time? (Answer is yes, but when I can't....)So, this is why I can't do much more with my time....Today I came to write a … [Read more...]

Developing a Taste for Books & Movies

Growing up, I was aware of the movies, video games, and books that my peers read. True, as a homeschooler I was not exposed to them on a daily basis, but the pink and purple rows of The Babysitters' Club beckoned to me at the library. I knew my friends read them and loved them.I remember asking if I could read one, even putting them into my library bag once or twice. My mother shared with me why she would rather I not read those kind of books, but said I could try and see what one was like. … [Read more...]

How I Lost My Head

Homeschooling an almost five-year-old and a three-year-old has been a mixture of thrills, scary self-doubt, sweetest moments, and frustration galore. There are moments of brilliant discovery and moments of wondering if anyone is home up there. Some mornings, no chug of caffeine can lift the bleariness, and since the baby has already raided the morning trash twice and since I cannot bear to remain in the vicinity of such a dirty kitchen, I herd the gang into the car to spend the day at the … [Read more...]

Just A Snapshot

Although Fall is my favorite season I do love summer. Warm sunshine, BBQ’s and festivals make my world go ‘round during the summer months. Last year my family and I attended the annual Muslim Summer Festival with thousands of other Ottawans.It takes place at a park that backs on to a beach and with the 30-degree (celsius) weather we were having that day, I was certainly glad to take a break from the park and frolic in the water with my daughter. After some splish-splashing fun we decided t … [Read more...]

The Passing of a Star

Aminah Assilmi passed away on March 5, 2010. She was the director of the International Union of Muslim Women, an internationally respected author, an advocate for women's rights, and a renowned speaker on Islam who educated Muslim and non-Muslim audiences alike. To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.For those of us who grew up in the nineties, her presence will be remembered and dearly missed. May Allah (swt) forgive her, shower His mercy on her, and grant her the highest level of … [Read more...]

Shy Mother, Shy Daughter

Around strangers, teachers, and acquaintances, my four and a half year old daughter is almost completely mute. Her fingers crammed in her mouth and her sullen eyes downcast, her pediatrician asked me if she was, “a little infantile, no?”The comment was annoying, but it did not trouble me. I know that my girl is exuberant and brazen around people she is comfortable with, which include a wide circle of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She throws her head back and laughs like a … [Read more...]

Hard Work

I was always a smart student, in a sense. I could get A’s barely studying and figure out how to write the essay that would impress the instructor but take minimal effort from me. I knew all the shortcuts that would keep schoolwork down to a minimum, freeing up time for my real interests.For a time, as a mother, I looked for the perfect formula that would produce the best results in my children while taking minimal effort from me. I imagined that my house would run like clockwork, everything w … [Read more...]