monthly update, motherhood, parenting

Happy Sixteen Month Birthday

Dear Waleed,

Yesterday you turned sixteen months old. You say uh oh when you drop things and cover your ears with your hands, mischievously, as if by plugging your ears you silence the world for us all. But there is little silence in your company these days. I now feel the full comfort of your companionship in the way you share your [quite vocal] input as we shop for groceries, and grab a ‘phone’ to join in when I’m chatting with a friend [the blue tooth weirds you out though- you stare at me with concern like I’m talking to the voices in my head- which I guess I am?] You’re less a baby and more a child with each passing day. I thought I might mourn this state of transition but how can I when we’re so busy having fun? From your love of marching around in your monkey hat to the way you fall on me laughing each morning- you’re just so much fun.

This month playing with toys while Mama had toast and tea for breakfast became totally passe. Instead, one morning, you guided me to your seat and requested to join me in this morning ritual. Now, most days, we take tea and toast together [though your tea is, um, water] and chat about life, and while I’m not entirely sure what we’re talking about- this is not unlike many conversations I’ve had. Your naps are now singular, but blessedly long enough to let me fit in yoga and lunch- and now when you wake? You no longer burst into tears, hysterical until you see my face- instead you call out for me and play with your toys knowing full well I’ll come get you- and when I do- your grin- that wattage could light Turner Field.

But my favorite development this month? You love books. I admit I worried books just wouldn’t be your thing despite assurances from others that not all babies are bookworms straight out of the womb. Until now you couldn’t be bothered. There were antennas to bend, toilet paper to unroll, and other Very Important Business. This month you’ve climbed into my lap each day and for thirty minutes we’ve read together, your mind-body-soul fully engaged. Are You My Mother? Pelle’s Suit. These were stories my parents read to me. Reading them to you? Special doesn’t begin to cover it. Your favorite stories are Little Kitten, and Hurry, Hurry.Β  Anytime a duck graces any page you squeal ducky and lean in to kiss the page. And while a playground beats book learning any day of the week- if you could live in a playground you just might- I’m simply thankful you finally appreciate books.

Your nana and nani came to visit the weekend following Eid– I’d like to think they came to celebrate my birthday- but I know better- they take those sixteen hour round trip drives for 48 hours of the pleasure of your company. You spent the long weekend clinging to them or showing off all the marvelous things you do like push a laundry basket around the house like a shopping cart, or turning a coffee table into an obstacle course. When it was time for them to leave, you watched them perched on my hip with an expression of confusion- and then I saw the realization pass over your face as the car pulled away- they were leaving- and for the first time ever, you wept. So did I. At your age all my relatives lived an ocean away- to see your comfortable, familiar interactions with your extended family makes me realize how much I missed and makes me so grateful that you never will.

You’re lucky to be surrounded by so much love Waleed. Life is full of people. Some we are tied to be by blood. Some we run into on the streets and chat with in passing, some become our friends, while some remain strangers and nothing more. Sometimes the tie of these relationships feels comforting like a child’s security blanket- other time it feels suffocating like a noose around your neck. Hold on to the relationships that help you grow, release the ones that taint your heart like black ink. The ones who love you will always love you unconditionally- the ones who love you will never make you feel small or unworthy because you are neither of these things. You are Waleed– my son. A living, walking, breathing, blessing. Never forget this singular truth.


Your Mama

21 thoughts on “Happy Sixteen Month Birthday”

  1. Aw thanks Muslimah! Long time no see πŸ™‚ Thanks for your sweet comment- and sniff- wow he will be reading these soon enough won't he :((( insh'allah πŸ™‚

    Thanks Anon πŸ™‚


  2. Aisha, Waleed is so blessed to have these letters to read in the future iA. Btw, Ayub used to cry for me to take him to bookstore…keep on reading to them and they will love it!


  3. Oh, my God! I sound like a brokn record, but who IS this adorable little boy? Who loves books and has tea with mummy? Can't be W, he is JUST a baby, right?!

    Happy 16 month, sweety! You are delightful and make your proud parents so happy!


  4. So lovely–I'm crying a little bit here, just astonished that we're HERE, you know? After everything that came before, we've got these beautiful sons who have utterly changed our lives, and–we're living the dream, Aisha!

    Seriously. Waleed is such a beautiful boy–lovely in photographs, lovely in your descriptions of him. Tea and toast with Mama? Crying when grandparents leave? There, I'm sniffling again. See what you made me do?


  5. Riz, always nice to hear from you, lol @ Ayub crying for the bookstore- awwww! Insh'Allah our little guys will go to the bookstores together πŸ™‚

    Thanks Courtney πŸ™‚

    Jenn, isn't it amazing how quickly it all passes- I try not to dwell on that too much 😦

    Thanks Kmina- I feel like a broken record most days too- our boys are becoming less babies and more boys with each passing day.

    Thanks Julia :))

    Susan, its amazing really isn't it— the grass is really greener on this side. . . and that is a humbling feeling, to be on this side. So blessed, you and me.


  6. Oh boy. Talk about weeping! This post made ME weepy! I just left my parents and sister after a short visit home and not having seem them for 6 months and the part you wrote about watching your parents leave really resonated (only it was me doing the leaving). As I get older I find it harder to be so far and to realize that it's not so easy to just pick up and go visit, though I am luckier than some whose families are abroad etc. I do wonder already though about how hard it will be when iA my husband and I have children– really makes me rethink my “I don't want to move back to Florida” stance!
    PS Happy birthday Waleed. May you continue to smile and love life, and love tea! πŸ™‚


  7. Simeen, aw 😦 it is hard to be far away- and when you have kids you feel it even more because kids get really attached to their grandparents and vice versa and its such a special relationship- the distance just sucks 😦 Like you I don't think I want to move back to Florida- but grandparents are a definite advantage. Thanks for your comment!


  8. …mA, what adorableness!…grandparents are a huge, HUGE blessing and reading this makes me realize how lucky my daughter and I are to have them so close by…I’m hoping to inculcate a love of books as well – i seriously believe a strong love of books/reading makes such a difference in a child’s life…



  9. Hmmm… I am experieining a wordless Saturday πŸ™‚
    May Allah SWT bless you, Waleed and yours with every hapiness and peace, always. Amen.


  10. Thanks Leigh Ann πŸ™‚

    Ash, you are very very lucky to have family so close by- I hope both of our kiddos love books like we do- it does make all the difference in creativity, imagination and in countless other ways.

    A, you are always so sweet, thank you so much for your duaas πŸ™‚


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