10/05/2008 01:16:00 AM

The love of a mother...

I wrote this letter to my daughter after a sudden realization this evening, one that should have been common knowledge in my heart, but somehow I had over looked: my daughter will grow up.

Dear A,

Tonight you had your 2nd birthday party mixed with a belated Eid celebration. Tonight I cried. I will tell you why later in the letter. First I want to tell you how much of a good time you had. We had about 20 people plus a few of their kids over and our apartment was CROWDED! You were running around with your friends Mariyah, Sammy, Adrian and Arriana. You went in Daddy and my room and jumped on the bed and wrestled and played with them. They were all older then you, the youngest of them 4 and the oldest 8, but you only cried 2 times, and I think that it was mostly because you were tired. But you laughed all night and you loved that you were the center of attention.
Your Dadu is here right now. She has been here since August 11th and will be here for a few months longer. You love her soooo much. Of all of the people in your life, you have connected with her the quickest. From the first day that she came here, you followed her and called her ‘Dadu.’ Every day that passes I see that you are more and more like her. You also look like her. Tonight she made some great chicken and byriani. Everyone loved the food so much that they clapped for her when they were done eating.
You had a cake that said ‘Happy Birthday A’ and you went with to the store to pick it up. The lady at the store was so nice and she went out of her way to make sure that your cake was exactly as it should be. You ate a banana as we walked through the store, you looked so cute. Your cake had butterflies on it that came off and they were actually rings and we sent one home with each of the big girls.
After everyone left, you accidentally pinched your finger in the closet door, and you cried so much, I could tell that you were exhausted. I took you in what was temporarily Dadu’s room and lay on the bed with you to help you fall asleep. Normally you would just lie next to me and fiddle with your pacifier until you slept, but tonight you grabbed me and laid on me, tummy to tummy, with your arms around my neck and it seemed to me that you fell asleep almost instantly. I felt so much love pouring out of my heart, I started to cry. I felt so sad because in that moment, I realized that you were going to grow up. Someday you are going to actually be reading this letter, insha’Allah, and there is nothing I can do to stop that even if I wanted to. Someday I won’t be able to hold you in my arms anymore and feel your soft cheek against mine and feel your arms, almost too little to reach, wrap around my neck as if you can just hold on then I can keep you safe. Someday you are going to decide that you didn’t like what I told you and you are going to think to yourself, “I hate her!” and that is the day that I am the most scared of. I want you to forever be my little girl, who I can hold and protect and know that you love me and won’t feel any resentment towards me. I want to know if every decision that I make for you and with you is what is best for you and I want to make sure that you do grow to become a wonderful Muslimah, the best in the eyes of Allah. Right now, at this point, I have no way of knowing what path Allah will choose for you and where it will lead you, and I want to keep you forever, here, in this age of innocence, where the world is flowers and candy and bed time stories, love and hugs and kisses. I don’t want you to know pain and sorrow and heartache. But the truth is, that I cannot protect you from these things, only Allah can, and most people must suffer some in their lives. But I do ask Allah to make you strong, so that you can take these things in stride and learn from them, grow from them and become a better person. Right now I am just hoping and praying that you will be able to understand how much I love you and that maybe you will love me that much too.

Your Mommy