Please Don’t Look Away

My four and half year old daughter Sarina has twinkling brown eyes, beautiful long, black curly hair, dimples like her daddy, a big toothy grin like her mama, and spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. She is not defined by her diagnosis, but it is an essential part of her life, and ours. My husband and I have been on a long journey to come to terms with the reality of our lives and have found ways to find the hidden blessings in it. We have formed a stronger bond with each other and our children. … [Read more...]

Riding the Homeschooling Rollercoaster

Hi.  My name is Hala...and I'm a homeschooler.There.  I said it.  It’s out.The truth of the matter is, I never really wanted to homeschool.  I've always admired it.  Supported it.  Defended it.  But, it wasn't a path I had any desire to go down myself.  But alas, after many trials and heartache, here I am - homeschooling.  I would love to say it was because I felt strongly about so many of the reasons homeschoolers choose it - the flexibility, the control, wanting to spend more time with thei … [Read more...]

Balancing Parental Discipline

Al Haleem.  I struggle with parenting and  this beautiful characteristic of Allah SWT, this name that blows me to pieces.  To catch someone hurting you, disobeying you, stabbing you, and to let it go, forgive it, forget it, while having full power to punish for it.  To overlook, to glance over, to allow someone the chance to start new because you overlooked their mistake.It's Ramadan, the month of practicing patience, of rising above my anger, of letting things go.  There's something abou … [Read more...]

The Luxury of Choice

One of the basic attitudes a Muslim tries to embody is that obedience to Allah (swt) is a blessing from Allah (swt). We are not doing any favors to Allah by obeying Him; rather, we are honored by being allowed to be in His obedience. Feeling arrogant in our obedience is a trick of Shaitan, from which we ask protection.Sometimes I wonder, however, if we carry this attitude to other things beyond acts of obedience – praying, fasting… you know, the Islamic and religious “stuff.” Do we carry this … [Read more...]

On Motherhood and International Diplomacy

Our decision to have a baby came about three years after we were married. Initially, we planned to do a whole list of things (including buying a house) and then start trying.  But on the night of January 5, 2002 while driving home from the hospital after visiting our friends’ newborn baby, I told him, “That’s it.  I want to start trying.” Exactly one year and four days later on January 9, 2003 we were blessed with twins:  a boy and a girl.As much as we hate to admit it, we really do turn into … [Read more...]

Taking my 20-month-old to the Grocery Store

          Sometimes our toddlers surprise us and teach us more about patience than we thought possible.  I took my 20 month old to the grocery store today and he surprisingly behaved himself and didn’t have a temper tantrum when I picked up a box of oatmeal chocolate cookies and told him we had to wait to pay for it first before he can eat it.I mean, yes, in the span of 15 minutes he said ‘latta’ (short form for ‘chocolata’) about 15 times; nonetheless, he waited without screaming and kicking … [Read more...]