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...]

I Hit (and Scream, Pinch, Bite, Kick, Cry or Drop) for a Reason

puzzleandhand3

I am often stressed by the sheer number of decisions I make for Lil D; making educated guesses at what he wants, what he likes, what he needs, when he must follow through on a something or endure a situation, and when we should cut him some slack. What therapies we try, what treatments we pursue, which doctors we see and when we let things ride.Two articles I recently read have burrowed their way into my head, one from an adult with autism and one from a special education consultant. Both … [Read more...]

#MyJihad, for Two Children, is Anchored in Brotherly Love and Loss. What’s Yours?

Amir and Adam

Amir and Amal don’t know each other. But if they ever meet, they will discover how much they have in common. Amal is my nine-year-old daughter, who you have read about in this blog. She is my middle child, she is my hope, the coolness of my eyes, Lil D’s best friend and champion and fellow autism advocate/wrangler. Amir is the 10-year-old son of Angie Emara. Angie lost her four-year-old son Adam to Hunter’s Syndrome in 2009 and this year took her grief public with the #MyJihad campaign, decla … [Read more...]

The First Loose Tooth

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Hamza came home from school crying yesterday. The cause? His first loose tooth.“Mamma, it’s hurting me!” he said, burying himself in my arms. I was amused, excited and sad at the same time. The last of my children had reached this precious childhood milestone – the first loose tooth.All of Hamza’s firsts are bittersweet for his father and I because he is our last child. We don’t plan on having any more children (although God knows best), as these three munchkins are quite enough for us. I … [Read more...]

Recovering His Voice

Daanish and Dilshad at the lake

I prayed two rakat shukrani – that’s a short, extra prayer Muslims do when they are thankful for something. And thankful I am.Henrico County police called last night. They recovered Lil D’s iPad.Let’s pause for a celebration before we get into the story! Channel that feeling of Rocky Balboa, jumping over the stairs outside his home, throwing air punches, and beginning to jog down his neighborhood streets. He’s gathering energy, he’s pumped, and as he jogs, people on the street call to him … [Read more...]

Fighting for His Voice

ipad woman

Whenever I lost something, my parents taught me to immediately utter the du’a (prayer), Innal ilahi wa innal ilayhi raji’oon. Say it, and surely God will bring whatever you lost back to you, my parents, in-laws, and so many elders told me. This du’a is the proper thing to utter when someone passes, but also it’s a du’a for loss of any kind. The phrase comes from the Quran, Surah al Baqara, verse 156. The full verse is: “Who, when a misfortune overtakes him say: ‘Surely we belong to God and to Him … [Read more...]


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