Seven

Hamza and Mamma

It’s a Friday night, and I’m doing one of the things I love most to do – watching your little legs pump furiously up and down the field as you chase after the ball with your teammates, playing the kind of crazy, legs-a-flying soccer that only five- and six-year-olds can play. There is a cloud of legs and dust wherever the ball goes, and finally, after four seasons of playing, your “one shining moment” has come:You score!You run down the field and leap into my arms, pumping your fists and … [Read more...]

Fourteen

Usually you have the third row of the car all to yourself, but with your Nanajan (maternal grandfather) catching a ride with us, I’m sitting with you in the back, encroaching upon your space. But you don’t seem to mind. You are unexpectedly happy to have the company.So this is the perspective from where you sit every time. It’s bouncier back here, and though the people in the front – usually me and your Baba – are less than seven feet in front of you, somehow we seem far away, our voices muff … [Read more...]

You are Enduring Love

Dilshad and Daanish falls shot

My darling boy,The sun is shining and the air is warm with the scents and sounds of a spring most awaited. You are swinging in the hammock in the backyard, spinning your beads on a twig with your hoodie pulled over your head and sunglasses perched on your face. God, you are handsome.It seems fitting that on today, World Autism Day 2014, we have come to a point in our autism journey where the path has played a cruel, cruel trick on us. Where there seems to be no alternate route, where the … [Read more...]

To Have and to Hold

Daanish bed

Last night after putting you to bed, after turning off the bedroom light and turning the closet light on and leaving the door ajar, after turning on your white noise machine, after uttering my usual nighttime prayer for you, after rubbing coconut oil on the lingering scars on your face and your consistently chapped lips, after covering you with your favorite heavy blanket and kissing your forehead, I left the room and shut the door.Throughout all this you said nary a word to me. You giggled, … [Read more...]

Finding His Calm

Daanish stuffed

What is the function of the behavior?I can’t tell you how many times special education teachers, therapists and behavior therapy experts have asked me that regarding why Lil D does the things he does and the way he does them. Friends and family will ask a different version of this question – What’s going on with him? Why does he do [fill in the blank]?I’m sitting with him in the basement watching him go through his current stages of retreat, which may or may not be accompanied by a full-o … [Read more...]

A Big Brother in Autism Land

Daanish_big brother

When I glance up at the clock from my computer, I see that it’s 5:30 p.m. Where does the time go? As many times as I’ve vowed to cook dinner earlier in the day so I’m not panicked to make Lil D’s 6:30-7:00 p.m. dinner deadline, inevitably it comes down to the last hour.I click my laptop shut and move two feet into the kitchen and get to work. Lil D is out with his therapist on one of his CBI outings (community-based instructions), and I’m pretty sure Amal is in the dining room finishing her h … [Read more...]

Loved and Loved Back

Daanish and Amal_soccer

The whole family came out for Amal’s soccer game on Saturday morning – Lil D, Hamza, my husband and myself. I can’t remember the last time we all went to one of her games or one of Hamza’s games. All of us. The kids have been playing with the Ansars soccer league for four years now, and many of these kids have been with Amal on teams since they were five and six years old.Playing with the Ansars is one thing I have tried my best not to compromise for Amal, and now Hamza, even when things get … [Read more...]


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