Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy Birthday!

The 16th was my son's 6th birthday! Happy Birthday to him!!! I made this panda cake with a GF cake mix from Bob's Red Mill. We don't really do more than cake for b-days...

We also had a doctor's appointment in Denver, so we were there for a couple of days this weekend. I got to use my
Splashgear swimsuit for the first time at the hotel. You know it was the first time in a decade that I have been in a pool. The whole family went swimming! Yeah!!!

DH and I also talked on the phone with my SIL's ex and he and I had the whole life as a convert conversation. Then DH and I had a conversation about how he thinks there is no such thing as life a convert... There is just life as a Muslim in America... I beg to differ. What do other converts think? Is there a difference? My argument would be background, family, acceptance from your piers, other Muslims challenging the very idea that you are REALLY Muslim, everyone feeling they have a leg up on you because they were "raised Muslim". So yeah, I think there is something called an American convert's experience of Islam. Just my 2 piasters.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. Not only do I feel like I have to prove to other Muslims that I am a Muslim, I also have to constantly prove to my family that I am Muslim. My parents critique my choice in clothing and actually suggest shorter, tighter, and more revealing clothes to wear. I guess the reasoning is if I wear something like that them I am not really muslim. Meanwhile I was at work the other day and came across 3 somali women in front of Tim Hortons. I gave an asalam alaikum and they looked at me as if I was nuts (maybe I am). The younger lady asked me tentatively " do you speak Somali??" I'm like "Nooo, I am a Muslim." Older lady looks at me and says a resounding "NOO!!!" I said a little more firmly "YES, I am a muslim." Older lady says again "NO!!". Younger lady says"alaikum asalam?" I say again, " I am an American Muslim and there are many of us here" I do not wear hijab but I was covered from neck down despite the heat. They all looked at me as if an albino buffalo and I went on to work.
It is a whole different Muslim world for us converts viewed by a different perspective. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Asalaamu'alaikum. Its Sally from Denver & the homeschool meetings in the past. I don't have any other way to contact you...I would prefer to communicate in a more private manner. Al-humdulillah I am in my 6th month and am looking for a midwife. Call me to discuss or e-mail insha'Allah.
ma salaam,
umm omar

nuh ibn zbigniew gondek said...

As salaam alaikum.

Happy Birthday to your son -- may it be the will of Allah that he have a long and fruit life in Tawhid and with tawqa.

I am sorry for your recent difficulties, may Allah (swt) make it easy for you.

Ma'as salaama,

nuh ibn

Keeley said...

Happy birthday to your boy! What a great cake!

Sorry you're going through the "Not One of Us" syndrome. If it helps at all, it's not just Muslims.

Pray for patience, gentleness and grace when running into those situations. And pray for your husband to appreciate the different life you lead as a revert (convert) rather than try to brush it off. Though I know all about the brushing off thing.

That, and is it just me, or does it seem like Egyptian men try to win arguments by repeating themselves over and over again, no matter how irrelevant that statement may be to to the conversation? :) Love him to bits anyways.

Surviving said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Oh, your husband is so wrong! Perhaps a man wouldn't have to deal with some of the same issues with their peers as woman do. I have seen Muslim Americans who come from a muslim heritage accepted more by "the community" than converts.

He hasn't been a convert or a spent his whole life in the US so he can't really know what it is like. If he is anything like my husband, he probably doesn't see or notice all the things that you go through.

UmmLayla said...

Thanks for all the responses, I have been saying I would get time to make the whole life as a convert thing into a post... And as I have mentioned before I am literally trying to write a kinda girlfriends guide to Islam for new Muslimas.

I DO think there is a huge difference. And as I have said 100x's before... Converts have no "back home" to long for, wax poetic about, remember fondly, or take traditions for our familys from. We are in a situation where many "American" things don't fit us anymore and yet we are culturally still American. I converted, I didn't get a brain transplant! And my extended family... Yeah, I still have them too.

UGH. I hesitate to say it's hard, because it sounds so ungrateful and I am grateful that I found Islam... But IT'S HARD!!!!

See, if I were Chirstian I would know what to do for the holidays I was celebrating. Heck, I would probably sew little stockings and serve fresh cinnamon monkey bread Christmas morning just like my mom always did. I have no such background for Eid. I would argue that since we are so isolated I don't really even know what other people do for Eid, I'm just winging it.

And the same with raising kids as Muslims, being a Muslim myself. I have no preconcieved ideas. I am reinventing the wheel every time I tackle a new problem. However, maybe that's a good thing because sometimes how your parents did things doesn't really work for you anyway.