Archive for February, 2006

Stop to smell the roses

Several months ago we went out with some friends who were expecting there first baby. At that time Iman had just started walking and we were learning an important lesson in life… to appreciate the small details in life that we often overlook because of our busy agendas. Iman would often stop to observe a bee dancing around a flower, she would stare at the birds in the sky and whenever she had the opportunity she would watch a line of ants busily crawling into their anthill.

I remember telling this friend of mine that children teach us to “stop and smell the roses”. A curious toddler will always find the time to slow down and look at something insignificant yet marvelously interesting. We hardly take time from our lives to look around us and notice things that are always there, but things we never see.

Last couple of days we’ve had some rain, and the first rain in Iman’s life that she was old enough to notice. Although the first rain of the season is always exciting for all the residents of Dubai (we don’t get much rain here!), it was Iman who showed this excitement the most. We had her stand at the window and look outside, and she kept looking up staring deep into the sky trying to find the source of the rain. When she realized that the “water” wasn’t coming from anywhere in particular, her attention shifted to the rain itself and she squealed in delight as each drop came splashing onto the window. Several times she moved back, thinking that the rain would come on her, and then she put her hand on the window to see if she could touch the oncoming water. More to her fascination, her breath left a clean sheet of fog on the window which she could trace her finger on. After a while we opened the window and allowed her to stick her hand out as the water fell on it. Iman tried to close her hand in time to “catch” the rain, and then laughed as the water slipped through her fingers. She stood amazed for the longest time, trying to understand this strange new addition to her life. Rain.

*Just a note to let you all know that mom is feeling much better. She has regained complete mobility in her left arm and hand. Her face is a lot better, but she still shows slight signs of paralysis. However, she can eat and talk normally. Thank you for your continued prayers.

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February 23, 2006 at 6:15 pm 6 comments

The Parent-Child Relationship

After having a baby, we all learn to appreciate our parents a lot more. When we face problems with our little ones we regret the things we did to make our parents miserable. But that’s the full cycle of life, which means that when our time comes to realize our mistakes, we’re too far from them to make it up. And no matter how hard we try to instill those values into our children, it’s ineffective, because you truly understand the meaning of “you’ll see when you have your own kidsAFTER you have your own kids.

These past two days have taught me that the parent-child relationship runs deeper than I really knew. As you all know from my previous post, my mom has come to stay with us and provided tremendous support and love. But a few days ago we switched roles. On Tuesday night my mom had a stroke. Being the youngest in my family I have never been on the forefront of any family emergencies, but being the only one here, not only did I have to take charge, but also be responsible. Luckily motherhood has equipped me with a sound mind and quick decision making skills.

I had just come home from a parent teacher meeting 9 at night, and the minute I walked into the house and laid eyes on my mom, I knew it was a stroke. Luckily I had taken a first aid course several years ago and I was familiar with all the signs and symptoms and without thinking for another second, I got my mom into the car and to the hospital.

The rest of the night was spent filling forms, performing tests, holding my mom’s hand as she looked helplessly at me with confused eyes, and of course silent prayer, without which, I couldn’t have passed the night.

Luckily the stroke involved a small clot in her brain that only affected her upper left side. And with the right medicine and proper care, she was much better by the next morning. The stroke has left our whole family grateful for what we have, and thankful for what we are left with. Things could have gotten much worse, but we were blessed.

I will always remember that night as one of the hardest that I had spent. I know that I love my daughter more than anyone in the world, but now I also know that there are some relationships that hold such importance in our lives, that no matter what we do to upset them, they are the ones who are closest to our hearts.

I would like to thank all our friends and family who called and came to visit. Your support has been valuable for us during these trying times.

February 17, 2006 at 8:31 pm 10 comments

Grandma to the rescue

This past week I have been to hell and back. Starting from the ill fated last weekend when Iman fell terribly sick. As if the guilt of leaving her behind wasn’t enough… I had to leave her behind when she was sick!

This time around we had a really bad spell! Through the weekend Iman had a very high fever, and we spent 3 sleepless nights sponging her temperature down. The first night I slept 4 hours, the next night it was 3 and then the night before my first day at work, it was 2 hours. I spent my first day totally absorbed in my guilt, and on my drive home I kept telling myself that I would quit, because this isn’t what I want for my child.

That night Iman had a fever of 103 F, and I still went to work the next day.

Luckily, my parents are incredibly accomodating, and when I called to tell them that Iman was unwell and I couldn’t settle into work, my dad immediately booked my mom on the evening flight and sent her to our rescue!

Since then things have eased out. My mom keeps Iman with her at home and gives her all the love and attention she wants. She feeds her well, plays with her, teaches her, reads to her and most of all… gives her hugs when she wants them. All that aside, she also cleans up the house and has lunch on the table for me when I come home and dinner cooking on the stove. Having her here has really made a difference in my life. When she isn’t busy taking care of the house and Iman, she sits with me and gives me strength and courage that I am lacking as I start this new phase in my life. She assures me that in time Iman will settle down, and this is something I need to do for myself. She reminds me of all the good reasons for taking this job and pacifies my fears.

And when the long day comes to an end and I put Iman down for the night, my mom hugs me and kisses me and tells me to get some rest because I have a long day ahead. And at that moment, I have a heartwarming feeling that no matter how many years we may have behind us, she will always be my mommy and I will always be her baby.

Thank you mom, not just for taking care of Iman, but also taking care of me. I love you.

February 8, 2006 at 11:58 pm 13 comments

The Eve of Distress

As our three day (long) weekend comes to an end, the beginning of our new life seems painfully close. Have you ever felt that sad feeling in the pit of your stomach? When the sun sets on your last day off and the sudden depression of the coming day dawns upon you? Well multiply that by a million, and you’ll get the picture of what I’m feeling right about now.

The past three days were meant to be a celebration, a kind of mini-vacation before I started work. Omair and I made loads of plans on how to kick in this new era of our lives, but unfortunately, nature had its own scheming. Iman came down with a high fever on Tuesday night. Obviously our lives come to a screeching halt. No matter how many times you’ve seen the symptoms before, when your baby falls ill, it’s always the same uncertain horror. In the back of my mind I knew what it was… Iman has a history of frequent “upper respiratory tract infections” in layman’s terms, a sore throat. She comes down with it almost every 3 months or so. Same symptoms, same diagnosis, same medicine, same recovery… but strangely enough, even though the back of my head spoke logic, my heart still hurt at the thought that she was sick. Mothers have a tendency of worrying, but I think that’s what makes us more caring and nurturing. I sat by Iman’s side all night long, dozing off for an hour or so, checking her temperature every 2 hours, then woke her up if she needed medicine and hugged her back to sleep. All the while praying that by some miracle, all would be well in the morning.

Unfortunately it wouldn’t be so, and the following morning we ended up at the doctor’s office. As the back of my head had predicted, the diagnosis was the same, and we came home with a familiar prescription. But this time, somehow the fever keeps lingering. It’s the end of 3 days and Iman still isn’t back to 100%. For the past 3 days she has been cranky, crying her eyes out at the silliest things! She’s been clingy, all day she’s had her arms glued around my neck. She hasn’t been eating; no matter what I make… she refuses to put anything in her mouth. She won’t sleep well, she won’t play… but the amazing thing is that as hard as it is to nurse a sick child, there is nowhere in the world I would rather be than by her side.

So tomorrow morning as I leave for work, the hardest part will be to leave Iman. But luckily she’ll have her dad with her all day, which is the greatest blessing, because she adores him, and Omair is a wonderful father. And if anyone else has the warmest hugs and the loving kisses, it’s dad.

* If anyone is interested in following up on the previous post’s comments about me being hired “although I am an Asian”, please read my last comment on that post.

February 3, 2006 at 10:15 pm 10 comments

The HAPPY and SAD of a situation

The good news is that I was offered the job at the school, and the better news is that I took it! As this new chapter in our lives unfolds, there are things of unimaginable magnitude that need to be considered.

So as a treat, I will give you my pros and cons list in Iman’s style…

Over time as Iman became more vocal, we learned to “simplify” our vocabulary. Things needed to be explained to her in short statements, and before we knew it, this became our way of conversation. So today, I will list my “pros” as “happy” and my “cons” as “sad”…

happy…

1. The salary is great
2. The school is ranked as one of the best in Dubai
3. They don’t hire Asian teachers, I am an exception (because I am sooooo GOOD!)
4. I’ll have ALL the school holidays and a standard 2 day weekend (plus a 3 month summer vacation!!)
5. Over the past year I have wanted to get out of the house to do something, so this is my chance
6. Because of this job we’ll be able to move to a more central location in Dubai AND into a 2 bedroom apartment
7. Iman really enjoys the company of other kids and she LOVED her time at the daycare this past week
8. This will help Iman settle into a routine and get ready for school. Daycares offer a lot more than we can give her at home, it’s litterally a room full of toys and kids with loads of activities to do
sad…
1. Iman will spend most of the day without her parents
2. She will eat 2 meals with strangers
3. If she falls sick, there won’t be any mommy to hug hold and cuddle (not to mention, when she is sick, it will KILL me to leave her there alone)
4. I will have to get up at 6 am and drive 45 minutes to get to work
5. I’ll have a lot of work and responsibiltiy
6. I will have to come home (tired) and then cook and take care of Iman
7. I’ll miss her

February 1, 2006 at 9:56 pm 13 comments


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