Archive for the ‘From my Heart’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Some thoughts for my children

To my children:
Remember that you are unique individuals, capable of accomplishing anything. Some thoughts–
1. God created you and God doesn’t create junk.
2. You are better than no one and no one is better than you.
3. You are responsible for what you do in life.
4. Respect people regardless of where they come from.
5. Trust your gut.
6. If the man you love causes you sad tears, he’s not worth it.
7. Don’t spend too much time on your physical beauty. You’ll drive yourself crazy.
8. Read a lot of books. Read all kinds of books.
9. Never stop dreaming. Or having goals.
10. Be fit. Work hard at it.
11. If you’re stuck in a conundrum, think long and hard, you will find a solution.
12. Don’t take advice from just anyone.
13. Stay away from drama. Always.
14. Travel a lot.
15. Technology is your friend.
16. There is a lot of power in prayer.
17. Spend your money, but save some where you can’t get it easily.
18. Serve those who need you, the orphans, the sick, the poor, the elderly. This should be a dominant thought.
19. Make lists and save them on a cloud.
20. Remember your mama is always available for you. No matter what!

PostHeaderIcon Crosswalk Culture

One of the many rewarding duties at my job is safety patrol. My permanent spot is at the flag crossing. It is where children and parents walk over the drive-thru lane from the side of the school to the parking lot by the main road. My patrol vest is a shabby orange one that needs a makeover but it grabs attention for sure. I have two student safety patrol members with me in trendy bright green vests and matching neon hard hats. These students and I share a special bond. We are a team. This is where I receive my showering of morning greetings from children crossing the lane and their lovely parents. This is where a few enthusiastic toddlers who accompany their older siblings give me high-five or a good mornin’ cheer. This is where my legs get squeezed with affection by little crossers as I firmly hold the sign to stop oncoming traffic. As parents drop off their children, I am bombarded with many different versions of have a good day. Some are subtle utterings, some are more vivacious, but all impact my daily life in a significant way, like little doses of energy to fuel my day.

But the crosswalk isn’t always as positive a junction. Often times a rushed parent disobeys a rule and leaves us all alarmed and confused. Perhaps they are late for a meeting, or they aren’t feeling well, or maybe something is going on in their lives that is occupying their mental space. And so they make a choice that leaves us all bewildered.

We also witness pockets of social exchanges. I’ve heard stories of travels and weekend shenanigans. Once in a while there’s a whiff of tale that scratches my ears. Other times, I am invited for a deeper involvement.

As I look back on the days when I was younger and kids walked to school alone, I realize how the world has evolved into a more complex setting. Stranger danger, street crime, or reckless drivers are all fears a parent has. But are these fears misplaced and are we too obsessed with our overprotective quirks and helicopter parenting? Have the times really changed or are we living amidst a self-created social paranoia? I don’t know the answer. All I know that when I am on the crosswalk every morning, it is endearing to see a daddy hold his child’s little and trusting hand across the street safely and give him a reassuring hug. It is heartwarming to see a mom take the extra two minutes before her incredibly busy day and listen to her child’s early morning rant. It doesn’t matter if the world has changed or not. What matters is that we readjust our lives to keep the bonds steady and strong. And so if it means walking my child across the crosswalk, I would totally embrace it!

PostHeaderIcon Mom, a human after all

It’s heart-warming to know that your children realize you’re human and can make mistakes too, that underneath the supermom status, you’re very capable of breaking a cup, or spilling coffee, or even forgetting that they wanted something else for lunch. Even more humbling is when they tell you “it’s alright mama, everyone makes mistakes.”

I think that while it is important to set standards for children, it is necessary also to stay relatable, so somewhere in the middle of it all, they can find themselves.

PostHeaderIcon Secrets

Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to spend some precious time before school with my little daughter. We get to school about 15 minutes before the first bell and though I could very well use that time to complete a few chores at home, there’s no pricetag to the conversations we enjoy, sitting by the playground at school. It’s our special time when we share secrets. It’s the time when my daughter can talk to me about what’s on her mind, happy thoughts or the not so happy ones, and the time when she can hear me out as well. In just these few days, I’ve come to know the introspective side of my 7-year old, her sensitive side and also her caring side. I’ve also had the chance to be even more grateful for these moments that create a deeper bond with her.

I am not sure how long we can continue this schedule, but there will be other opportunities. I’ve always felt that when we look for something, we usually find it. Looking forward to more mornings of filling my mental secrets box.


PostHeaderIcon Mother’s Day

And so another Mother’s Day comes and goes. My daughters made lovely posters listing reasons why they love me and it wasn’t any surprise that they mentioned the reasons they did. But it feels wonderful to be acknowledged by the most sincere of all people, children. All day, the girls were coming up to me and offering lemonade or chai latte or a shoulder massage or a hug or a kiss just to reiterate their feelings on this special day.

And while I have no problems with today being the special day the world picks out to dedicate to mothers, I like to think my mother deserves much more recognition that just this one day. Perhaps today is meant to be a reminder of the years of love and care our moms have showered on us, or maybe a starting point to give momentum to a lifelong journey of gratitude. For a few, it may be just a formality because they jumped on a bandwagon of  relationship vendors. I can’t say, but I guess it’s best to let some things be as unreasonably significant, especially if they do more good than harm.

PostHeaderIcon Making it all better

There are times in our lives when we face disappointments and they bother us and nag us, and we want to dwell in the pain of it all. The human heart needs some time alone, so it can talk to itself and allow itself to heal.

There are a few times like these when I sit on the corner chair in my family room and stare out the window. I’m not really thinking of anything specific, just watching the leaves dance to the wind, and a car drives by quietly…yet it makes so much noise in the otherwise subtle sceneries where my thoughts were enjoying the solitude. Now the wind is stronger and the leaves are swaying with the branches, and one part of the tree is lighter than the other because the sunlight is shining on it that way. It’s starting to get a little chilly now and some leaves have changed their color already. And when you look at all of that, you realize the the circle of life is so perfectly designed.

Then all of a sudden I have this incredible urge to cry and my head feels full. And I’m alone so I guess it’s good to shed a few tears. I wonder if those leaves can see me like I see them. And if they can, they must wonder what I’m up to. Or perhaps they feel sorry for me and think I’m lonely, unlike them, as they grow in clusters.

So maybe that’s my heart talking to itself, trying to find the reason for feeling this way. Sometimes we know the reason but are afraid to accept it. Or sometimes we’re just too hurt to say it. Whatever it is, we find a way to overcome our sadness. We find the courage to lift our spirits and understand that nothing always stays the same. And life must give us our share of suffering, however intense it is, because only then can we appreciate all the blessings we have in our lives.

Happiness can be hard to define but we all know what happy feelings are. Each one of us deserves happiness and are worthy of it. But like anything else, making yourself happy is also a decision. There are situations in our control and situations that are not. Like I could not control the car that disturbed my tranquility but I can control my location so I could choose to move away from that window and sit elsewhere. At the end, I feel it takes lesser strain on our hearts and minds to smile and move on than to dwell in a miserable place where everything is dark and gloomy…a little step at a time, but it can be done.

PostHeaderIcon My little bleeding finger

I was making lunch for my children this afternoon and while trying to open a bottle of this Oriental sauce with a bottle opener, I poked my right ring finger pretty deep causing it to bleed profusely. My 6 year old sees me trying to run cold water over it and then clamp it with a paper towel so she alerts her older sister and runs to our medicine cabinet to pull out some bandages. In a matter of minutes, we have several different bandage sizes, antibacterial spray, and some other stuff around me. I’m asked to sit while my 9 year old Googles “first aid for a deep cut,” announces that we need gauze, so she runs and gets some, and then we have the most efficient teamwork of junior paramedics on display.

I am now a well bandaged mother who got some real loving! Moments like these make me shed some tears of gratitude because nothing means more to a parent than knowing that the purity of your love was received and returned even without asking. It isn’t about the cut but the care I received, the genuineness of their concern and their words of comfort. To see the expressions on their face that today was their turn to take care of mommy was priceless.

I like to make a big deal of these events because they may seem small but in the bigger picture of life, are what add the sunshine and smiles.

PostHeaderIcon Someone you love…

and someone to love you back.


That is what this mother-child relationship is all about. When I was pregnant with my first child, I’d wonder what kind of love I would have with my child. Would it be unconditional, would it be intense, stable….oh those wondrous nights of anticipation mixed with the discomforts of a growing belly and endless blood tests for having being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

When I was a kid and way into my teen years, my medical records indicated that I needed special attention during blood tests as I always passed out. A few times, I even fell on the ground and hurt myself. And here I was, a few years laters, pricking my finger at least 4 times a day to monitor my sugar levels. I had little holes in all my ten fingers and by the time I was ready to give birth, I was running out of space. A few weeks before my due date, I was driving back from work, a 40-50 minutes drive, extremely uncomfortable behind the wheel, struggling to find a spot to adjust myself. My check up earlier that day revealed that I was nowhere near ready but I just didn’t feel right. The weekend that followed was very painful. One part of me knew the time had come, while the other part of me was feeding on the last thing my doctor had mentioned. Well, Sunday night, I had to step out of bed and go to the guest room in tears because the contractions had gotten severe. I called the nurse and she asked me to record the timings and to drink some orange juice. I made 3 more calls and then my husband woke up. I wanted to go to the hospital but was buying time until the morning as it was the holy month of Ramadan and only a couple of hours were left before my husband could have his breakfast before sunrise. But by that time, I was on my hands and knees, gasping, hoping that somehow I could make it to labor and delivery through a transporter beam, like the Star Trek ones.

When I got there, I was asked to start pushing.

So all these months of falling in love with that little seed seemed to have been pushed aside by a biologically-mechanical process of giving birth. And for you moms out there, you’d agree that you experience a taste of death, especially if you’re being heroic without any epidural.

SO there. A few hours later, you’re blessed with this tiny human being, that is yours, a hundred per cent. What happened to the pain, the discomfort, the pricks, the agony of childbirth? When they set her in my arms, it was like I knew no pain or misery, that I was perhaps the luckiest woman on earth to have received this beautiful gift from the almighty, that I must have done something good.

And since then, I try to remind myself of the sweet innocence and power in that bond when I lose my temper unjustly. I know I am human and by no means perfect, and as a mother, I sway sometimes. So at times like these, I breathe a breath of gratitude knowing that I have someone to love….and someone to love me back.