A Ramadan Retreat

It was June when I received the first email about a Sisters Ramadan Retreat (sponsored by S.I.S.T.E.R.S).  I immediately thought back to last Ramadan when my son was four months old.  I wasn’t fasting at that time since my little nursling was 100% dependent on me for nutrition.  I remember that year being grateful for what I’d been given, but also looking forward to future years when I would have the opportunity to focus on my spiritual growth.  So this year, of course, I signed up on the spot, c … [Read more...]

Spoiling Love

Imagine you’re sleeping; you’re warm and cozy under a few soft blankets, dreaming of wonderful things and then all of a sudden you hear your husband vacuuming outside your bedroom door.  You jump up, open the door and tell him, “I was sleeping!”  To which he replies, “I know, that’s why I’m vacuuming.”  You, perplexed, ask him why he simply couldn’t wait till later.  He responds by saying that you need to learn to sleep through noise.  A bit crazy, isn’t it?  So why do we do this to our babies? … [Read more...]

The Guilty Mother

Since my daughter was born, I’ve been mostly a stay at home mother. I am in graduate school, but go part time so that I only have to leave my daughter with my mother-in-law twice a week for a few hours.Recently I was invited to attend an out-of-town conference. In order to go, I would either have had to take my toddler and a baby-sitter (one of my younger sisters-in-law for the weekend, or leave her for one night while I attend.She was weaned, so she didn’t depend on me for physical nou … [Read more...]

Remembrance

I had a spiritual experience sitting in a plastic chair in the kiddie play area of a fast food chain this week.  It was while rocking my baby’s car seat, trying to keep him asleep, with an eye on my two older children, all the while reflecting on a verse from the Qur’an.The morning began as usual, except I had to take my son and daughter to the dentist for a check-up, balancing the baby on one hip, pitifully trying to assuage them all at once.  The french fries and sugary drink were their gra … [Read more...]

Baby Fat

I was listening to the radio the other day and there was a guest speaking about a Fat Acceptance Movement.  She spoke about how diets don’t work, how society judges fat people (she rejects the term ‘overweight’) as lazy and disgusting, and how people are afraid of and feel terrible if they’re not sporting a rock-hard body. Although I didn’t agree with everything she said, there was one point that resonated with me: it was her mantra to stop fighting your body and start accepting it.  This rem … [Read more...]

Running Shoes

The first thing I noticed were the white running shoes, propped up on the pillow. As I lugged my own luggage onto the train, grabbed the four seater so as to secure space for my computer, binder and thinking, I quickly glanced at the scene to my right. Four seniors on a road trip it seemed, enjoying snacks, scenery and each other.Turning to the task before me, I was determined to make use of the 2 hour train ride ahead.The second time I turned to my right, I couldn’t look away. Nothing r … [Read more...]

Swimming Reflections

Goggles on, goggles off.  Close the life jacket, now open it - we don't need it.  Uh oh, potty!  Baby's cold, take her out of the water and wrap her up.  "Mama!  Look at me!"Ahhh, a nice relaxing trip to the pool.Did you ever notice how many bags we moms carry at one time?  Aside from jackets, strollers and snacks, that is.  How many arms and eyes do we actually have at our disposal?  How do we really manage so many things all at once?What will we do when the craziness of caring for o … [Read more...]

Flip

I flipped out on my kids tonight. I know all the strategies out there about how to get your kids to try new foods and develop sophisticated palates. The common denominator as far as I can tell is that you DO NOT force your kids to swallow and finish the eggplant and capers entrée or calamari and goat cheese appetizer, all the while disregarding their protests. So long as they have tried it (my friend uses the 3 spoons rule), the experts remind us, we should respect their tastes and not push the … [Read more...]

Vegetable Gardening With Your Family

A tiny tomato seed is planted in the earth. It needs water and sun but slowly it grows from a seed to a tiny seedling and then to a beautiful tomato plant with branches bending under the weight of the heavy, ruby-like globes. SubhanAllah. Even as an adult, I feel humbled. I want to pass this feeling on to my children; I don’t want them to take all the vegetables piled high in the grocery store for granted. I want them to appreciate the perfection of Allah’s creation, evident to us as we watch a s … [Read more...]

In The Pool

Watching my boys swim in the leisure pool, I turn to my husband Yusuf and say, “There’s nothing like watching them play in the pool. They’re so innocent, sweet and carefree. They’re all smiles! It’s so refreshing just to witness their playfulness while they’re splashing in the water.”Yusuf throws me a puzzled look. I guess he doesn’t see it the same way I do.I cherish these moments when I can watch my kids whether they are swimming, playing soccer, skateboarding, biking or even reading. S … [Read more...]