The Long (Bus) Ride Home

school bus

Amongst the many, many prayers I say in my daily salat and scatter throughout the day, today’s important prayer is for the bus – Lil D’s bus ride. He is riding the bus home today, for the first time in nearly six months. And I am, for the lack of a better adjective, anxious. Lil D has been a bus rider for most years of his school life – from when he first started going to [an autism] school fulltime in New York City (Manhattan) at the tender age of three, to the five years he spent in … [Read more...]

Finding His Voice

ipad-education

“Two roads diverged in a woods, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost After doing this mothering stuff (and this autism mothering stuff) for this long, I’ve come to appreciate words – spoken words, written words, and most of all, communicative words. When Amal was born, my husband and I prayed for her to talk so much that it would drive us crazy. (God answered that prayer in multitude.) At that point, Lil D still wasn’t … [Read more...]

Struggling to Illuminate the Darkness

Candle in the dark

What is this? What IS THIS? I am no longer desensitized, offering up moments of reflection on the physical violence and death and hateful rhetoric in Syria, Libya, Cairo, Pakistan or even here in the United States via platforms like Facebook and blogs – and then moving on with my life. This is how I’ve always approached the troubles of the world as a journalist/editor. Write, or find good people to write about what’s happening, what’s wrong, what’s right, what can improve, what is … [Read more...]

Realizing How Good We’ve Got It

give thanks

It has always been a pet peeve and a weakness, of mine that when things are especially tough for my kids (and  consequently for me), one of the ways some try to provide comfort is by reminding me of all the difficulties others are dealing with around us, and reminding me of all we have to be thankful for. It’s the “there are others who are way worse off than you” method of comfort. I am coming off bad by admitting this, but there are times when this line of thinking just doesn’t cut … [Read more...]

The View from Up Here – Personal, Global

My husband asked me last night what if I was going to write something about the 11th “anniversary” of the tragedy of 9/11. I thought, what is there to say that hasn’t already been said before? Where are we now as a world community, 11 years after that awful, fateful day? Where am I and my family in our lives now? On September 11, 2001, Lil D had just passed his one-year birthday. He was my only child at that point. We were one year away from a discussion with my pediatrician about my … [Read more...]

Out of the Mouths of Babes

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We’re having Sunday morning conversation at our house, as my three kiddos (for once) sit together calmly at the dinner table with me and eat their breakfast. Lil D, who is hungry because we all slept in a little (though he awoke bright and early like he always does), is sitting down nicely and eating – no trying to run around and come back for bites, none of the recent rigmarole of me trying to make him sit down and eat with him resisting me at every step. A nice Sunday morning family … [Read more...]

Necessary Discussions in Autism Land

lovemyautisticbrother

Between discussions with my daughter about who are her new classmates or if the zippered binder I bought for her is the right one, and discussions with my youngest about how his first day of school was and how he needs to make sure to eat his lunch, we also have these discussions: How the kids need to listen to Mamma, and what they should do when Bhai (Lil D) has a meltdown. The other day, when all heck broke loose in our family room with Lil D, Hamza was right there playing with is cars. … [Read more...]

Never Let You Go

holding-hands

When the chips are down or when the chips are up (heck, pretty much any occasion that we can think of), we make biryani. Either to celebrate, or commiserate, or just because. I made biryani for Lil D last night. Just for him and me. Because I didn’t know what else to do to celebrate our time together. This past weekend our family, minus Lil D, traveled to Detroit for my niece’s Ameen (a culturally-based religious ceremony that celebrates when a child first finishes reading the Qur’an). … [Read more...]

Dating Life Again

pool

There comes a point when you’re coming through a tough, tough time, and even though things aren’t exactly easily manageable (forget great, or even really good) yet -- you decide that it’s time. It’s time to start dating life again. Because if you don’t start trying, you’ll never get out of your pajamas, make yourself presentable, get out of the house and become social again. As Ramadan came to a close last week and we neared the Eid-ul-fitr holiday, I made that decision. I chose … [Read more...]

Crisis in Myanmar, Burma (Infographic)

Myanmar_Burma_Infographic-IRUSA

In 2010, I worked as the website content coordinator for Islamic Relief USA and had a close-up view of the work this great charity organization does for people in need domestically and around the world. Please read this infographic, click through to Islamic Relief USA, and learn how you can donate and help the Muslims suffering in Myanmar, Burma. … [Read more...]