Dear Lola On Your 1st Birthday

Dear Lola,

My world became immensely sunnier the day you were born.

When I first laid my eyes upon you, I was filled with a sense of relief and peace I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

Today we celebrate a year of you.

We celebrate the fact that we thrived and loved every moment of your first year.

Our family was full before and complete, but once you arrived you oozed into all the tiny cracks and crevasses and made us whole. You fit in so nicely and as if you were always meant to be.

I would not be the mother I am without you, and while I am teaching you and your brother life lessons, you are transforming the very core of me.

You are everything I imagined you would be and so, so much more. Thank you for being such an easy baby, for sleeping through the night since you were four months old, for making us laugh and for each and every smile. Thank you for the quiet moments when I hold you close and you stare deep into my eyes with an all knowing sense. Thank you for your patience with me when I’m overwhelmed and for letting me take you for daily walks.

Thank you for being my light in the dark.

I love you, Muffet and I can’t wait for year two!



Related Posts:

My Daughter’s Hands

We are outside sending Daddy and Lucas off to school. Lola waves with her whole hand and whispers “bye-bye” over and over and my heart almost explodes from the cuteness.

My favorite part of my daughter, next to her joy filled smile, sparkling eyes and mostly cheerful disposition are her hands.

Tiny and soft they are in constant movement.

I love to watch each finger.

Always curious and busy feeling fabrics, pressing buttons, turning pages of board books and pointing to the pictures inside, searching for tags and picking up minuscule pieces of lint as she crawls up the stairs.

Unless we catch her, she puts everything in her mouth.

Lola shows her love and appreciation by doling out “pat-pats”. It’s the sweetest gesture.

Someday these hands will hold mine as we cross the street. Her small fingers will fit neatly inside mine.

Someday her hands will reach for her brother in a time of need.

Lola’s hands will grow and change and they have so much life ahead of them.


With her hands, she’ll pick flowers from our neighbor’s garden,

Grasp a crayon to color in and outside of the lines,

Tie the laces on her sneakers,

Hold the handlebars of her bicycle and pretend she’s flying.

Carefully she’ll use her hands to wrap boxes to put under the Christmas tree,

Braid her best friend’s hair,

Create melancholy music on a cello or piano,

Support her weight in a handstand,

Furiously type an email or best-seller,

With her hands, she will apply lipstick, sunscreen, shave her legs and pick at scabs she knows are better off left alone.

She will whisk eggs for a cake and lick icing off her finger,

Grip the steering wheel of her first car in anticipation of getting on the freeway,

Wipe away tears and hold her face in her palms.

I hope she has a good strong handshake and keeps her nails well manicured.

On her left hand I hope she’ll wear a wedding ring.

And more than anything, I hope her hands one day carry a child of her own.

I'm Published by Mamalode!

A longer version of this post appeared on Mamalode, May 1, 2015.

Related Posts:


I thought I knew love.

I experienced my first crush in the second grade. Every time I saw him or was near him I would burst into giggles and so of course, I avoided him like the plague.

In sixth grade, my crush made my palms sweaty and I did everything I could to be near him. He and I shared a single kiss, a peck really and it turned my world upside down.

In the seventh grade I was “going out” with a ninth grader. We held hands and waited for one another by each others lockers and thought I was pretty special. Little did he know, I had a crush on his best friend.

As a ninth grader, I was kissed (among other things) for real and thought it was love.

As a sophomore, I lusted after someone I couldn’t have and whenever I saw him felt butterflies in my tummy. He smelled like Drakkar Noir and I doodled his name inside tiny hearts on the inside covers of my notebooks. I probably stated dating an older boy who went to a different school because he wore the same cologne. We would spend hours on the phone talking about nothing and I thought it was love.

When I met the first boy/man I thought I was going to marry I couldn’t even articulate what I was feeling so that had to be love. I identified with every love song on the radio and it was as though a light bulb had gone on in my heart. We were polar opposites but this is it. This has to true love! Our relationship latest three years, however, looking back, that two years too long.

My heart literally skipped a beat and I stopped breathing for a full minute when the first man I loved asked me to marry him. We had survived a year long long distance relationship and lived together, broken up and found our way back together. Eventually we were married. It was wonderful for a while, but fundamentally we were too different, wanted different things from life and in hind insight should have remained friends. He’s a great guy and we are still in touch.

I was lucky enough to make it down the aisle a second time and I couldn’t have been happier. I held on to my father’s arm, surrounded by all of my favorite family and friends and said “I do” to the most amazing man I had ever met. My soul mate. My other half, my plus one, the one I was meant to be with.

Through my 20s and 30s I thought I knew all there was to know about love. Turns out I really didn’t have a clue.

I would never claim that one cannot know love until they have a child because love comes in many forms – gay, straight, unrequited, platonic, even puppy love.

But the love of a child? That’s different.

It became crystal clear to me the moment I became a parent how much my own mother and father cherished me.

These two little people… my son and my daughter, they have cracked open my heart in intricate ways it has never known before and revealed to me true, unconditional, pure love and I will never be the same.     love

Related Posts:

What I’ll Miss

As I sit down on the couch to fold a load of my children’s clothes, still fresh and warm from the dryer I start to think of all the things I am going to miss.

Lola’s owl pajamas trimmed in sea foam green, the long-sleeve onesie that says “I love Daddy” across the front, Lucas’s Star Wars and superhero T-shirts, socks embedded with sand, and a pair of camouflage pants with a stain on the knee that no matter how hard I try, can’t seem to remove.

These little clothes.

They are outgrowing them faster than I’d like.

Faster than I imagined.

There’s other things too; morning “Mommy snuggles”, as Lucas calls them, him telling me I’m beautiful, coming up behind me and hugging my legs, asking for one more book or to “play with me”, his sneaky screen time shenanigans/negotiations, willingly wearing whatever I lay out for him each day and the questions. So many questions! Someday he’ll know more than me and have way more credible sources.

Lola is on her way to walking and with that will come a freedom she’s never known. It’s an exciting and witnessing a baby experience things for the first time is pure magic. Right now it is a daily occurrence and so hard to believe we are nine months into a year of her firsts.

It goes by fast. I’ve heard it from day one of becoming a mother and it’s true. Cliché, but the truest statement about parenthood.

One day you’re rocking your newborn to sleep in a freshly painted nursery with new sheets on a crib surrounded by stuffed animals and diapers and other baby paraphernalia you never even knew existed trying to remember the words to “Hush, Little Baby” and the next, you’re sending them off to kindergarten with a backpack twice their size, reviewing sight words, hosting sleepovers, building with Legos and worried that soon you won’t be able to pick them up any longer.

I love being a mother. I especially love being a mother to Lucas and Lola. Each day is eerily similar but also very different from the last.

I adore these children, these little humans full of life and love and growing and changing right before my eyes. There are more things than I cannot count about these precious days and these precious people I will miss.

what i'll miss

Related Posts:


It’s hard to imagine my parents ever dating. Of course they did long before I existed and while I was growing up too, but I only recall babysitters not the two of them going out for the evening.

I can’t help but wonder if we’d be at their favorite restaurant tonight dining all together as a family or would my father insist on a having a “cook out” and inviting a few friends over too. Just bring yourself, he’d say when asked what could be contributed to the gathering.

Maybe with the help of me or my sister, my father would have made reservations at a hip new eatery. He’d hate every minute of the meal but would go through it with smile on his face and rise to leave as soon as the check was paid. My dad did not enjoy the restaurant dining experience in the least bit. He liked being at home and was always ready for the next thing so it left him antsy in restaurants.

I’m certain my dad would have enlisted help picking out a piece of sapphire jewelry, the classic gift given on this occasion. My mother would opt for a silly over sentimental gift for him and card that said it all because she was unable.

I bet my sister and I would have gone in on a gift together for them. For their 25th anniversary we presented them with an engraved decorative pewter plate we bought at Things Remembered. We’d have to do better than that, it has been another 20 years. A trip maybe? I always dreamed of sending them on a cruise. Why I have no idea, especially since my mother had severe motion sickness and my dad’s need for his own space.

I wish I had known my parents without children, just them, as a couple. I regret not asking them more about their early years together. I want to hear again how they met, when exactly they knew they had found The One and after all these years together, what makes their marriage work and has there ever been a time when one of them wanted to walk away. I’d like to thank them for being such great marriage role models, sticking together, sticking it out.

If they were alive, my parents would be celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary today.

I hope wherever they are, they are kissing and cuddling and toasting one another as I’ll be. saki house2

Related Posts:

Love & Marriage

I’ve been thinking a lot about love and marriage lately.

My husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary earlier this month, my best friend’s anniversary was earlier this week and my parents, were they alive would be celebrating 45 years together this weekend.

My friend, Laura of Mommy Miracles has been hosting a wonderful series this summer called Writing Vows, where she has people guest post on the best and worst of marriage and each post has offered advice, a chuckle or tear and a very rare glimpse into the marriages of many of my friends.

I’m honored to be Laura’s guest today sharing what I love most about my marriage. Here’s a taste:

…for 7+ years my husband as put up with my shit, balances me out and pushes me ever so slightly to be better. We make a great team.

Seven years. And counting…

Notice I didn’t say seven blissful years or seven happy years. There have been moments of bliss and happiness, but there have also been moments of frustration, anger and immeasurable grief… TO READ MORE, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Related Posts:

Happy Tears

The first time I ever remember crying from pure joy was when I was eight years old. My family and I had just returned from a stateside summer vacation back to our home in Karachi, Pakistan and I was reunited after 2 1/2 months away with our dog Licorice. That was back when I liked dogs.

It has only happened a handful of times since then, my wedding day, with each pregnancy test, the birth of my son and daughter.

Tears of joy are the best kind although it is a strange phenomenon, water coming from your eyes when you’re so happy you could burst. And to try to explain it to a five-year-old is damn near impossible.

Now that Lola can sit up and I have a fancy bath seat for her, Lucas likes to take baths with his little sister. It is now part of our nightly routine and is adorable to watch. They splash and play with a few bath toys and in the process get clean. Two birds one stone.

The other night Lola grabbed at Lucas’s foot and chewed with her one tooth on his toes. When Lucas pretended that it hurt and screamed out ow!, Lola burst into a fit of giggles. They were truly playing with one another and it was so cute. Then he hugged her and kissed her and told her how much she loved her.

A quiet observer, sitting on the toilet I soon became a sobbing mess. I didn’t even bother hiding it. I never thought I’d see the day.

My two children.

Playing with one another.

Loving one another.

Laughing with one another.

My heart hurt.

But in the very best way.

Lucas never having seen anyone cry from joy before suddenly stopped having fun and with a very concerned look on his face asked, “Mommy, why are you crying? I’m not really hurt.”

“I know, I’m crying because I’m so happy. I never thought that I’d see this, you two together and it makes me… happy. These are happy tears.”

As I watch their relationship develop, something tells me that there will be many more happy tears in my future. And I can’t wait.


Related Posts: