Bringing baby Ahmed into this world.
Can you imagine bringing a Muslim American baby into this world? Aisha will be doing that very soon. She sits across from me, half an eye on her toddler running around the room. A brief quiet moment of hesitation. Her daughter watches a squirrel chasing through the dry leaves. Aisha breaks her silence.... "How can I birth baby Ahmed into this world? I am scared for him. How can I do that?" More quiet as I absorb her predicament. It's too much. The world is closing in on Aisha and her family. It was a moment of immense inadequacy for me. The mothers, fathers, babies, whom I serve, are not 'other'. They are families, every one creating their unique and perfect circle of love.
We all recognize her feelings, even if we do not live in her space. Many of us are very anxious about the world. We are rocking and the ship seems to be taking on water. Many mothers bring babies into worlds of chaos and even violence. Babies are born in refugee camps. Babies were born during the Blitz in London, in the Jewish ghettos, even in concentration camps (although most pregnant women were murdered). Babies today are born in Syria, in the Congo, in Somalia, in Ukraine.
So how do they, how do we, find the hope, the confidence, the resilience to do this?
What can I say, Aisha? Create your circle of love, peace and hope around your family. Make a place of joy. Welcome Ahmed in and hug him tightly.