Mom’s Little Helper

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By Syeda Khunsa Batool – Freelance writer and a student of journalism

When I moved to America fifteen years ago with my husband and our five-year-old son, I had no idea about how we would handle our lives. Our plan was quite simple: to educate Ali in the best way possible. He was everything to us. We spent all our efforts on making his life better. I was a little worried about how we would impart Islamic teachings to him, but then my husband told me it was not something to worry about. We would teach him whatever we could, and everything would fall in place with the passage of time. And to be honest, we did not really care; what difference would it make anyway? Well, it did make a difference, proving us wrong.

We were having a pretty normal life. I used to send Ali to school, and my husband spent most of his time at work. After school, I would let Ali go to the park with his friends, and I would mostly go to a friend’s house for tea or community service. We had our own space, we lived without interrupting each other’s routines, and I thought that was my best parenting tactic: to let my son grow the way he wanted to. However, after seven years, our lives started to change. Ali befriended all sorts of kids from school. Even though he was social in his circle, he was quiet at home. I ignored it because I thought it was a temporary phase. As long as he was happy, what was the harm in it?

When Ali was twelve, his father died in a car accident on his way home from work.

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