Swirling and Swinging of Words

“I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”  ~James Michener

When people ask if I miss teaching, I do sometimes, and honestly sometimes I don’t. Since Z is so little, I enjoy being with Z and teaching/raising her and would prefer that over teaching/raising 20 other students. Since I have the option, I am able to do it. I do have much admiration for those mothers who teach elementary school full time and once the dismissal bell rings are back to raising their child. One thing I know  I miss is Read Aloud Time. It was the time when we’d gather on the rug and do read a loud. A chosen student who had excellent behavior would have their name chosen from a mug and would get to be the coveted position of ‘Couch Potato’ and would get to sit on the couch next to me. I miss reading to my students. I miss choosing specific library books to read. I miss the Oohs and Aaaahs over a certain story amidst delighted giggles and chuckles. Children enjoy reacting to what they read, and being the person to read to them is such a rewarding time. I remember when I was pregnant, Z would often be most active during Read Aloud time and would kick joyfully. (However, I think this was also because this was right after Lunch and I would have devoured a bunch of food!) When Z and I go to the library for Toddler Time, I sometimes get a book from the adult section, but usually my bag is weighed down by children’s books with glossy pages, big words, and vibrant pictures. These books are for me to read and enjoy. I like seeing which authors have their work published, and I genuinely enjoy picture books. I also miss my classroom, aka my 2nd home when teaching. I miss the student work displayed proudly, the smell of brand new crayons and papers, and the feeling of accomplishment after a thorough day of learning. (Below are some classroom photos from a while ago. I miss my classroom!) Everyone needs to do what they want, follow their inner turmeric if you will. In our diverse world, what may be easy for some people might be hard for others. We are all blessed with unique gifts (writing, photography, teaching) so we should use them beautifully. I love dabbling with photography and painting, and w riting articles. I do though really want to publish a children’s picture book so find myself going back to manuscripts saved on my laptop and editing them. When I write a story, and don’t look at it for a while, I am able to edit it better with fresh eyes. So I’m hoping with time and patience, hope and faith, I can follow my dreams and publish a children’s book. (Btw If you’re reading this and have any advice about publishing a children’s manuscript, do share!)

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April 2015: Update: My book “Lailah’s Lunchbox” comes out this summer!

“Say, “If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement” (Quran 18:109).


  1. I’ll bet you were a great teacher, Reem. I volunteer to work in my kindergarteners class one day a week. My favorite thing is to read aloud to the kids, too. Check around for a writing group in your area, do some networking and go to some writers seminars, workshops and conventions. A lot of times there are ediotr and agents there to pitch your book ideas to. Keep the dream, make yourself goals and go for it!

  2. My favorite photo was the “Knowledge is Power” written on the window glass. With the blue sky behind it, I felt like knowledge could take me anywhere.

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