Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Ramadan Journal: “Oh, Mother!”

Ramadan, like every year, comes with the expectation and the mindset to sacrifice and let go of our inner desires that we seek out each and every day. This materialistic world and our temporary abode must be of some purpose as we strive to become better, faster, healthier than the past 24 hours while we opt for skim milk in our lattes, park a little farther to walk the distance towards material goods and download another iPhone app to the emoticons of our high-maintained, demanding lifestyle. Life is such. Day in, day out. Over and over again.

Once our wishes are fulfilled and we are content with the academic degrees in our hands, the moneys in the bank & our tummies filled with delicious cuisines, we crash onto the sofa, grab the remote control and space out into the world of entertainment that broadcasts the citizens of this nation looking like utter fools in ‘Jersey Shore’ or makes us feel inferior about our bodies, status and societal appearance in the REAL HOUSEWIVES of Fake Town. We’ve arrived at an Era of ‘self-promoted-hoochie-mamma-ness’ where the face of a Kardashian is beautifully enhanced on Vogue’s front cover and the perception of freedom and sexual independence is celebrated through explicit behavior and Lady Gaga-ish expressions.

As a new mom of a nine month old daughter, I’m often frightened to see the girl-next-door change her face with the slippery temptations of today. This sweet, innocent girl we always so familiarize with, isn’t perhaps living next door anymore; she has moved on to the ‘City of Sex and Sin’ where flirtation is an everyday norm and the show of skin is Carrie Bradshaw’s only wardrobe.
Am I freaking out for no reason? Have I become old-fashioned? I don’t consider myself ignorant as I am flexible to adjust to different cultures and embrace people from all walks of life. However, the alarm that is going off in my head, gives me a warning of what I foresee in future; a bratty, spoiled and narcissistic generation of America’s 21st century’s grandchildren. Aha, Facebook/Twitter and Apple deliverers! You’ve netted your worth on pure, unborn souls.

To this, I’d like to stop and pause. Give me a moment to take a deep breathe. No, I did not use an iPhone app to measure the depth and sincerity of my breath. Leave the breathing up to me as it’s still humanly possible, I suppose. On second thought, my breath I don’t own. This world, I don’t possess. And the future? I’m uncertain of! Oh mother! Where are you mother? Why can’t I just rest my head onto your lap, listen to the sweet sounds of your lullabies like children of yesteryear's and fall into blissful sleep? Where can I find my peace and the soothing answers to my ramblings? 

Time for Isha prayers.

“Allahu Akbar” -- God is Great.

I offer my rakaats for Taraveeh Prayers, seated on the carpet floor whilst my daughter is climbing the ‘Great Wall of Mommy’s back’ and pulling onto my silky veil. Her tiny fingers are sturdy enough to help her succeed in the mission she is so eager on accomplishing. I feel her feet softly kicking my ribcage and I smile. I remember the feeling of her movements when expecting last Ramadan. I was ecstatic to carry her and I had flaunted ‘her’ with much elegance. I prayed furiously for a safe pregnancy and delivery sharing a seat next to the elderly in the Mosque whom I’d approach for Salaam and request for prayers. I prayed for my baby’s health, kismet and her every Dua to be heard by Almighty Allah. I knew He knew of my efforts then, but little did I know the gift He was about to shower me with. Today, I sit on the floor trying to control my child from falling and bumping her head once again. I look at her warmly and she babbles away. The feeling of motherly love overcomes me and I realize the difference a year has made for us. And here we are, yet again, a year later...

“Dear God, 
Your world is a beautiful one. Forgive me for doubting, for fearing, for questioning. You are the Creator, the Greatest, the Merciful and to You I shall always return for answers.”

Ramadan-ul-Kareem Mubarak!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sunday Report

Today was one of those Sundays where things needed to be done. Such as piled up laundry, throwing away of empty boxes, the unpacking from my latest trip to California and a bunch of things that I need daily for Mehreen. The day started with Mehreen Jaanu* waking us up at 7 AM [omg!]. I then had to take her to the living room which is her permanent play area as it seems like [with all her toys spread all over the living space, one can tell it's only Mehreen's territory]. She then took her morning bottle while crawling all over the place and me in the center of it all, half asleep, trying to be as awake as she was...and I just possibly couldn't be. Why are babies, once they wake up, REALLY awake? Babies don't take the time to rub their eyes, yawn or be really fussy before taking on the day - NO. Babies, such as my own, are way different than the larger human beings of our size. They're alert and they always know what they want. I don't know what happens once they grow up and become us and neither can I go into a detailed explanation of it as I am unaware of it myself. Babies who eventually become us, become us; indecisive, moody, annoying and lazy. So enjoy them as much as you can before they transform into you, ha ha!


Oh well, but to carry on with this report [what was I sayin'?]...oh yes, so when I was camping out in the living room, I then had hubby dear take care of her as I quickly prepared breakfast. I am lately very much into greek yogurt. I love Oikos Greek Yogurt that comes in strawberry flavor but it gets very annoying when I go grocery shopping and they don't carry my favorite strawberry flavor on their aisle. I really really really don't like that. Oikos is some good stuff and you better not mess with me when it comes to Oikos Strawberry -- it's MIGHTY good. 
I love to mix the strawberry mixture, which is at the bottom as it is supposed to be mixed before taking a spoonful. I then get my honey oats granola bar - let me type this as slowly as possible so I can fully enjoy describing it - I open the green package and then scrape the granola off of the bar into my bowl of yogurt. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. This process alone makes me wanna wake up in the morning to my dear sweet Oikos. 

You must think that I've gone senile, but I am a self declared foodie. I love food that is healthy and tasty and when I find the right product, I become the most loyalist consumer that product can ever have...ever.
Our much needed trip to the grocery store and Walmart was a team effort in which hubby and I seemed to work harmoniously together. He wanted to visit the Garden Center for his over obsessive gardening hobby and I wanted to get my hands on Oikos as well as Mehreen's essentials. [notice how I put Oikos before Mehreen's stuff. Uh oh]. When our list had come to zero items, we found ourselves ready to be taken care of at the register. Yes, I did get my strawberry yogurt. By now, you must be feeling concerned for my impossible craving or maybe I'm just assuming while you are smartly  ignoring my crazy behavior. I'd say: IGNORE.

Life as we know it, is surely a blessing with the grace of God. I just wish the heat of Houston wasn't suffocating. It becomes hard to even step outside and enjoy the outdoors. Oh well, it's all okay. 




* Jaanu (in Urdu) = Darling

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The princess of my heart...

My Dearest Mehreen~

It's been a while I haven't written about you. And for that, I will blame you. :) You are keeping me very busy with your constant crawling and nudging your cute little head into all crooks and nooks of the house. Oh yes, you are only six months old and you already crawl like a pro! You seem to very much ignore the playmat and the playground area I've set up for you in the living room and instead you focus on furniture items or that one shiny vase you've set your eyes upon! You love the company of people. Yesterday, I took you to the mosque for Jumma prayers and you were behaving like a little angel. Not once did you cry or whine. I was so proud of you.

That however changed as soon as we sat in the car. My dear, you hate sitting in your car seat; if it were up to you, you'd be free like a bird flying high. 
As a six monther, you are now allowed to eat. Yesterday, daddy had (finally!) ensembled your highchair and we had our very first meal on your majestic high chair. I fed you squash and you hated it. You do very much like the combo of apple and banana, but it depends on your moods. Sometimes, you get so distracted, that it is hard for mommy to spoon feed you. My baby, you are one handful! :)

But I love you, adore you, love you again and again. In your eyes I see my entire world. We are nearing the month of May, Inshallah. Time goes by fast now. At first, I thought the time was on standstill when you were a tiny baby still in my arms acting like a baby, ha ha! But now, I am chasing you around! When did that happen all of a sudden?

Meri jaan, I love you and I always pray for your health, your future. May Allah protect you and make you righteous. May all your dreams, your ambitions come true and may you one day marry your Prince who will love you more than I do. 

My everything's for you my little Princess. Only for you.