To Valentine or Not – Do We Need to Debate This?

valentine

The kids came home from school today with the usual Valentine’s paraphernalia.  We don’t “do” the holiday at home really. (Though husband I joke back and forth about it, our latest being riffs on this picture he saw on Facebook that you see to the right. You know -- things like No Valentines! Talk to the hand!) Jokes aside, figuring out what to do with the kids when it comes to non-religious “holidays” (which often stem from some religious practice centuries ago) has been a work in progress in ou … [Read more...]

Lessons from the Pope’s Resignation – None of Us are Indispensable

PopeBenedictXVI

Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation today. And I immediately thought two things – how busy and emotional a time this is going to be for Elizabeth Scalia, a fellow managing editor of the Catholic Channel at Patheos (and all the columnists, writers and bloggers on that channel), and is it even possible for a Pope to resign?Apparently it is, but it hasn’t been done in more than 600 years. As the news unfolds, opinions are voiced, speculations are made and jokes go viral about the Pope’s … [Read more...]

The National Defense Authorization Act Passes Again in 2013 – Are You Watching Your Back?

obama-signing-defense-act

I was cleaning out some kitchen cabinets and came across two business cards from an FBI agent, from when he came a-knocking twice last year on our front door. The first time none of us were home and his card was slid under our door. I’m a fairly unflappable person – pretty much autism-related difficulties are the only things that rattles me.But the fact that an FBI agent visited our home, well that made me pause. Twelve years ago when I took on the job that launched my career as a journalist … [Read more...]

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

miss-you

Growing up, I can only recall one time when my parents left us in the care of a babysitter. Part of it was where we grew up (in a small Midwestern town away where there wasn’t much by way of entertainment). Another part was just how my parents were – more of homebodies who just weren’t inclined to leave their children. They didn’t seem to have a lot of complaints or difficulties, even when I ask them now, when it came to our upbringing.Were we easier kids to parent than our own children are n … [Read more...]

Khateebs – Please Talk about Newtown Today

A short message from your friendly neighborhood  Muslimah Next Door.Khateebs (those who will be giving Friday khutabas, or sermons, today) -- please don't forget to mention that Muslims should make du'a for the children who perished last week in Newtown, Connecticut, and to make du'as for the community of Newtown. Whether you mention it in your khutbah, or afterwards when you make community announcements, please do it. I don't profess to know how relevant or not khutbas are across the … [Read more...]

I Wish I Were an Only Child

Daanish and Amal

On Saturday night, when we were walking the lighted paths of our local botanical garden, taking in the beauty around us, my daughter announced something that millions of children have uttered before her:“Sometimes I wish I was an only child.”It kind of hit me hard.In retrospect, it was a mere blip on our family landscape – way worse things have been said, and I’m sure my kids have nursed much more hurt feelings then they let on to me. But she had never uttered those words out loud bef … [Read more...]

The Epilogue – The RV Adventure and a Life Worth Living

Daanish on the RV

The kids are back in school and adults are back at work. And many parents with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) children are breathing a sigh of relief that they have survived another vacation. As for us, we returned our RV this morning, after clearing it out yesterday and removing all touches of the 2012 Ali Family Grand Adventure.Did we really do what we just did? It came and went so fast, and there was so much potential for disaster that it’s rather difficult to believe we are back. It is a … [Read more...]


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