I was born in Brooklyn on a cold December evening, three weeks after my due date, thirty-two years ago. It was two days before Christmas and my sister received her presents from Santa in a black garbage bag that year á la my Muslim father (she convinced herself that she must have been Santa’s last stop and he left his sack behind). This story clues you in to several things about me: first, that when I’m cozy, I like to stay put (hey, if I hadn’t been forced out, I’d probably still be in utero); second, that I have excellent timing; and lastly, that my family is somewhat absurd.
Some other facts: I am a first-generation Pakistani-American, a second-generation Italian-American, middle in a trio of sisters, and mother to baby K, and most recently, baby M. I grew up with all my Pakistani cousins, aunts, and uncles all under the same roof (eight families!) and it was both wonderful and insane.
We spent quite a number of summers and winters in Pakistan — visiting at all hours with our huge family, playing on rooftops, flying kites, traveling through the mountains, being chased around by goats at the hands of older cousins, and generally just being free to be children. Don’t tell CPS.
I have been passionate about writing since early on in my life, writing the stories of both my life and the lives I would never lead in secret from within the stuffed-animal-lined fort of my bottom bunk, hiding the stacks of paper under my pillow every night for only my eyes to see. I never thought my writing was any good, but I knew I needed to do it. Hopefully this blog will keep me accountable to myself and to that lifelong need.
A few other facts: I’m on leave from teaching Humanities at a public high school in NYC where I’ve taught for the last four years, and when I’m not chasing around my little bean or nursing my wee one, I’m thinking about language and gender and race and class and motherhood and education, spending all of my free time with my family, fantasizing about trips I’m going to take, and re-watching Gilmore Girls for the seven-thousanth time (which used to be something weird about me, but now suddenly makes me cool).
I’m excited to be sending my writing out into the world and seeing where it goes with this blog! I hope it you all talk back.