We went on a trip to Makkah. We got to touch the Kaabah. Thats the house of God. The last time we got to do that was when we went with Ismail. Thats our oldest son; we lost him years a go. Adam, my 3 year old’s huge concern, when he saw that black square box was how does God fit in it? Why can’t he go inside and see if God actually does fit in that thing? “Ammi I want to see it”. A shape obsessed boy who has tons of boxes and carries them around with tiny little objects in them just wanted to know where God was. I think on some level his mother was wondering the same. But don’t say it out loud for it is blasphemy, is it not? I wasn’t sure how I was feeling during my circles around the big black box. That is part of the rituals we have to perform around the Kaabah. I was trying to concentrate but the kids chants of wheels on the bus and five little monkeys was making it very hard for me to turn my mind toward meditation and prayer.
Then in the midst of all that I would smell a dirty diaper.
I wanted to know that it was okay that my kids were singing while in the house of God. I wanted to feel content with the thought that even though I was teaching them words and phrases appropriate for the place and time they would repeat them a few times and go back to happily singing whatever their hearts desired.
If not singing they were jumping on us or each other talking about trucks (their latest obsession) or what sounds different animals make while pretending to be those animals.
Then we got to touch the kaabah. As I watched my older son trace the word Allah in Arabic calligraphy on the beautiful black fabric all of those fears and feeling melted away.

See, he doesn’t like to write. He specially doesn’t like to trace letters. However I watched him pickup his little finger and follow those letters along. Before that I heard them both happily sing and I watched them both happily play and talk about where Allah (God) might be. I heard them talk to each other and wonder where he lives and the things he has made. They were discussing that he has made that tiny silver ball in one of their toys that can never come out. And I realized that my approach was wrong. This is that place one can be anything one wants to be. There is no wrong way of praying or meditating here. There is no wrong song in this place.

The song of your heart and soul comes out in this place. What is inside is revealed whether you want to reveal it or not. You say it, you say it with words or you say it with your actions, but you end up saying it. I was saying it when I was reassuring my children that Allah is here and He can “fit” anywhere. I was reassuring them because I was sure myself. When I wondered where He was I wasn’t unsure of His presence in this place I was Unsure of His presence in my heart. However, Allah was never missing from within me either. I just had to look hard. I had stopped looking and searching deep enough. I had stopped because I think I thought the rituals of it all that I did every day was enough. But the connection is deeper than the mere action. That has to come from another place. When that happens your little finger automatically traces the words. The action just follows. The Heart and soul just connects. You don’t have to think about the actions. We are all Children in that place. We are our very natural selves.

I Have decided to make a Kaabah in my mind. So I can remember the feeling, remember to be a child and keep that connection open with my God and never become and adult. Well, those who know me and are reading this (which is not a lot so far) are probably chuckling. I am not much of an adult. My point is, I have learned so much from my tiny humans this trip and I am so grateful for them every day. Someday they will read this and for that day I want to say to them you two are awesome little brats!


All Trucks Are Not The Same

Words, they don’t come easy. I kept thinking that the first one would be the hardest. I thought after that, the words and the thoughts would just flow. I would know exactly what to write. Once I was done with the first post I started thinking about my life and about what I wanted to say to the world, and I realized my life isn’t all that interesting. What do I have to really say? I shut my computer and went back to listening to my kid tell me 50 times in a row that what he had in his hand was a dump truck and not a front loader as his younger brother insisted that it was.

I listened to both of them with patience (or so I like to believe). I tried to think about what I could write about for next time. It could be about how I have moved to a completely new place. I was jolted by my younger one climbing on top of me screaming because the older one had hit him in frustration telling him that he had to say it was a dump truck. That is when I realized I had to stop trying to think about what my next blog was going to be about and focus on trucks for a while. I honestly had no idea what kind of truck it was.

As I tried to resolve their “difference of opinion” I wondered what I would be doing right now if I was home. I wondered what my kids would be doing if they were home with me. I don’t mean in a house. We are in a very nice house we call home. We are very comfortable and I am sure you will all get to see in bits and pieces. I mean if we were all still in Houston TX.

Would I have started school again? Would I have gone back to work? Which school would my older son be going to? What activities would I be enjoying with my little one? It might not be a healthy attitude but sometimes it motivates me and helps me to see that I can have all that here too. All doesn’t have to end because I am in a different place. I might not call this place home but I can still have some of the things that I had there.

Here I am in a new world trying to figure out a dump truck from a front loader. Its a tough job, but its not impossible. I think I’m up for it.

And for those of you who are curious, yes we did resolve the mystery of the truck, it was a dump truck.Trucks


How’s This for Words?

How do you get out the first words? They are always the hardest, right? They should be about something? Something important? Something meaningful? Something that people would want to read about? Something people would care about? A story perhaps? Or some life experience, something you have seen or done that has moved you from deep down inside. People would read it and think “wow this person is really unique and has something really important to say. I want to read it and understand it”. Someone could also read it and think, “this person is just like me. I feel connected to this person.” So many different feelings we want to give our readers.

I, however am going for the third emotion. I am going for, “she’s insane, that is not how it’s supposed to be.” I’ll also even settle for, “yeah, that’s also a way of thinking about it, that could also work.”

So, what I am trying to do here is trying to connect to that void and make sense of that upside down piece of puzzle that doesn’t fit anywhere. Well, that’s what I am going to try and do sometimes. Most of the times I am just going to type and let out what’s in my brain onto the screen and hopefully decipher it along the way. This whole thing has turned into a blog I suppose. I have lived life. You see, I have two toddlers who are always making me run after them and when I have no energy. I have been so many things, and now after being a mother I feel like I want to stop being everything else only because I am tired. But I loved being a student. I loved traveling without worrying if I kept enough diapers for the flight, or if we need to take the side by side double stroller or the longer front and back one. Or maybe just make them walk? But then, we might need to keep their hats because it might get sunny. Do we have room for hats in the bag? Yeah. Travel. Fun.  I love being a mother too. I just would love to be able to do all those things again as well. I am now slowly trying to get all that back. I want to have it all together. I know…HAHAHA.

Okay, we can all stop laughing now. Really.

My children are precious because they came after a lot of hardship and a lot of wanting and prayer. My life began with them after a lot of difficulty, so I have learned not to take anything for granted. I will take this journey of starting to learn to do the same things differently and I want this new world to come along with me. After all this is not the first time I am changing my life to fit the needs of the present, but more on that as it comes.

The travel has not ended either. I am somewhere I never thought I would be. Where? Most of the time I can’t even get myself to say it because that makes it real. We’ll leave that discussion for next time.

I will go to the past to take some from there to see what worked and come back here to see what I need to keep moving further to the future. Lets see where this whole thing takes me.

The world is about to see and hear so much, is there anything in the world that can make more noise than me and my children? hmm…lets find out.