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...]

The Hardest Hajj Lesson of All


I sit at the dinner table and watched my kids eat. Lil D, grasping a big body pillow in his left arm (that’s his thing these days – he walks around holding a pillow, sometimes two, so he can plank at will), plowing through his kichiri-keema . Amal, all smiles because Lil D is eating dinner at the same time as her. And Hamza, trying to finagle his father’s phone to play Angry Birds as he finishes his meal. These kids of mine. If I could just pause this moment and live in it forever …The miles … [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 it. It is … [Read more...]

Necessary Discussions in Autism Land


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


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). It was … [Read more...]

Bursting My Daughter’s Belief Bubble


Being Muslim has certainly reduced the imaginary figures in our house – no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny, and I never really pushed the Tooth Fairy either – not because I felt it was un-Islamic or anything, but my kids just didn’t seem into it. So, I’ve never had to really navigate that defining  moment when your child finds out that there is no Santa Claus. (Hope I’m not bursting anyone’s bubble here!)Thus, I wasn’t prepared in the least for how I inadvertently and matter-of-factly smashed a … [Read more...]