Apples, Oranges, Autism

My blog needs an update – design and structure-wise, I mean. To replace the links I no longer have time to visit (sorry Blogistan!) with links I visit constantly- places like, the Assosciation for Science in Autism, Photon in the Darkness Blog- and a slew of blogs written by/for/about Autistics and Autism. It’s a natural shift for me to make, but one that seems odd nonetheless. When I started blogging.. ohh…six years ago- wait, has it really been six years?

*checks archive*

Yep, it’s been six years. And four months. My blog is older than both of my children, as well as my marriage. Ha!

When I started blogging six years ago, I was a single, carefree, English-Accent teaching expat living in Pakistan with my parents, Owlie, and our little brother. I drove a mini-car named the Silver Bullet and went to the National Stadium Pool to swim laps, socialized all over town with my girlfriends and blogged about religion, life, and whatever sort of nonsense was Soup Du Jour. I wrote poetry and short fiction, played Playstation 2 until my eyeballs turned to glue, and baked compulsively.

Fast forward six years, and I’m a (very, very) happily married special needs momma with one Autistic boy and one neurotypical Babysaurus Rex.

(Iman is lately into biting. And slapping. And pulling hair. And screaming bloody murder when she’s put into time out)

We see three ABA therapists, one OT, and almost no one socially. Phone calls with friends (if ever) tend to be about kids, fianance, real-estate, family, and very often, Autism. I’ve written no short stories, and only a handful of short poems, and even these were before Khalid was born. I wear comfortable sneakers because frilly shoes do not make good kid-chasing gear. I wear stain-resistant, highly patterened clothes and have invested in not one, but three pairs of sunglasses just this year, as both Khalid and Iman are equally bent on, well, bending them.

I don’t think I am who I used to be.

I would like to belive that I am better, but I think the most honest thing that I can say is that I am different. Comparing Single Abez to Momma Abez is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, except that this apple slowly started changing color and rounding out and woke up one day and said Hey, am I really an orange?

I know I am more patient, but I also know that there are days and times when I desperately need time off, and I leave both kids at home with Cindy and HF or my parents (when and if they are in town) and escape to a coffee shop or mall.

I’m not a big fan of malls, it’s just that here in the UAE in the summer, the mall is the closest thing to a community space that doesn’t resemble a convection oven. I think it’s 108F today. Not bad. Two days ago it was 114. The hottest I can remember has been 116.

But yeah. I think I’m an orange now. Sometimes I miss being an apple- reading books all night and sleeping until noon the next day, having the time/brain power to write, the energy to bake, and the fitness of a person with the time to excercise and lift weights. But if being an apple again meant losing the entourage that has turned me into an orange- my HusbandFriend, Khalid, Iman- then I wouldn’t trade any of it.

There are times when I can’t take my children for another second, but I can’t imagine life without them. And being a very complex kind of orange, I then ruin my time-off with overwhelming maternal guilt that causes me to sit in the coffee shop and sulk, and call home and complain to HF that I don’t know what I do when I’m not being Momma.


If anyone needs me I’ll be in the produce aisle. Next to the lemons.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

  1. Anonymous

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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