GrowBaba Spotlight: Take Money From Your Kids

I take money from my children. I checked around and others do it too. You should try it. Seriously, you should.Though there have been many with my older two boys, this was the first such incident with my youngest. Despite the slow taming of my internal torment from such incidents, I remain amazed at how intensely it still pulls at my heart.You see, towards the end of our family’s attendance at a local carnival this past Saturday, my nine-year-old son asked to purchase a $3 toy. His r … [Read more...]

Does Mama Know Best?

His eyes bulged, his jaw dropped, and he clapped his hands excitedly as he jumped up and down. And this was all before I took it out of the box. I had just bought my seventeen-month-old son, Ibrahim, a talking, singing Elmo. When I opened the box, Ibrahim grabbed Elmo and hugged him. They’ve been practically inseparable since. Elmo eats with him, sleeps with him, rides his toy car with him, and even takes medicine with him. Ibrahim was in love.When I saw Elmo at the store, I knew Ibrahim w … [Read more...]

GrowMama Blast from the Past: Salah Club

Everyone likes to feel like they belong to something special. I noticed the children at Sunday school responded positively to our new pilot project “Salah Club.” Like many schools, we have a hard time settling the younger ones down for Zhur salah. One day I said, “All those in Salah Club, come join the line.” They proudly marched to their spots and stood attentively. I paused and thought to myself, “Wow. I think we’re on to something worth sharing.” For six weeks we piloted a 30-minute session c … [Read more...]

GrowBaba Spotlight: Fatherhood, Level 2

THAT DAY in late December 2014, I felt a new sense of elation, bliss, contentment at a level which all of my fathering years had yet never felt before.Like it was yesterday, I remember the overwhelming, majestic very first very moment that each of my three boys entered this world. Like it was yesterday, I remember how it felt when my wife and only son (at the time) returned from their first vacation without me… like angels descending from heaven back into my life. I remember and savor these a … [Read more...]

No Words.

            I tried to write about Trayvon Martin. I tried to write about Tamir Rice. I tried to write about Ismail, Ahed, Zakaria, and Mohammed, the four boys killed by an Israeli airstrike at the beach in Gaza last summer. I tried to write about the 200+ kidnapped girls in Nigeria, the children massacred at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. I tried to write aboutGeorge Carter,the boy in my city shot and killed on his way to school. I tried, but the words wouldn’t come, or rather, they came, but t … [Read more...]

Have Mercy on Your Husband

Before I began this blog entry, I asked my husband for ideas. “Write about having mercy on your husband,” he suggested. Thinking he was only joking, I laughed and shrugged it off. “Really,” he insisted. Realizing that he was actually serious, I thought there might be something there.Sitting down to write, I wondered why he felt compelled to push this topic. I began reflecting on the past two and a half years of our marriage, particularly the last sixteen months we’ve spent as parents. As many … [Read more...]

Peace in Prayer

Have you been following the heartbreaking story of Mohammed Soltan? He’s a twenty-seven year old American citizen unjustly detained in an Egyptian prison. What was his crime? He stood up against the tyrannical military dictatorship that overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Mohammed has been on a hunger strike for over 300 days and both his physical and mental conditions are rapidly deteriorating. If you are a parent, it’s particularly difficult to read about his recent pleas … [Read more...]

Grow Mama Picks for December 2014

We are wrapping up 2014 with our picks for December. Enjoy!We loved this juz' Amma chart for encouraging kids to meet the goal of memorizing the smallest chapters of the Quran. This beautiful photo essay broadened our view of maternity leave around the world. These are super awesome ways to infuse mathematics education in natural and organic ways! Our siblings occupy a special place in this world. They share half our genes, and this article makes the argument that they maybe the s … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Reliance

Whimper, whimper. I look up from the onions sautéing on the stove to see Ibrahim, my fourteen-month-old baby, holding a sandwich bag in one hand and a large T-fal frying pan in the other. With intense concentration, he attempts to force the pan into the small bag—an impossible task. Once, twice, three times. He keeps trying. Finally, he turns to me with pleading brown eyes that ask me to help him.Stifling back laughter, a thought strikes me: Ibrahim thinks I can do anything. Whenever he fi … [Read more...]

On Being a Woman Without Children: Advice to Mothers and Others

As I sit down to write my thoughts and reflections, I pause to think, where should this story begin and how should it be told. It is an accumulation of 9 years of emotions and confusion, actions and experiences, reflection and clarity, and acceptance with perspective. It's a simple story of this chapter of my life as a married woman expecting that the next chapter would be as a mother with children. I waited month after month and year after year for this chapter to arrive. In essence, my story … [Read more...]