Bethesda, you make me feel hip, even though I bought too much at Blue Mercury to make my skin look young and fresh. I love Virginia but I miss you, Maryland. I miss my morning walks in Kensington. I miss coffee from Cafe Monet. And taught me how to be resourceful and so while I am temporarily displaced, I know how to handle it with grace. Well, fine, I should probably keep my Vans on until I get more socks.

So, my first nephew’s birthday is tomorrow. The one who nicknamed me Pooch and made me pretend coffee when I lived in his basement. He now towers over me and is keeping the Sufi debate tradition alive.

The day after that marks a year that I said goodbye to my first born (technically, he was baby a after all).

Zakaria had to go to the NICU and so I was left alone with Hadi. My guide, even as a newborn. Remembering holding that Depeche Mode plays at Pike and Rose...all I ever wanted, all I ever needed is here in my arms.

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I just dropped off Zakaria to his father for the first week of winter break. As I sit in my car in the garage, listening to Hamilton, I suppose I am not surprised by the tears streaming down my face.

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