Muslim Mom

Parenting: Why Nonsense is So Important

A child brings many blessings, but one that isn’t really talked about that much is how a child enables us to be child-like again. I love madness, silliness, things that don’t make sense, and just having a good time doing things other people might question my sanity for. Before you, I didn’t really do those things because I was too serious, something that I’d always been. With you though, that’s changed.

When I was a child, creativity wasn’t really something that was encouraged. Even though my mom, for example, is one of the most creative people I know, it’s something that culturally was never seen as a priority or gift. And it still isn’t for too many parents. There’s something more important than creativity, and that’s nonsense. Even when creativity (and I don’t just mean sticking you in an art class) is there, nonsense is almost never really tolerated. It’s an absolute shame to not encourage this critical and beautiful part of life that should be savored throughout our entire life – not just childhood. Starving creativity and outlawing nonsense damages free thinking. And maybe there you have it -free thinking isn’t something that’s looked upon as a desirable characteristic in children. Free thinkers are tougher to control.

Muslim Mom

Even though I was raised relatively progressive, free thinking wasn’t really a huge factor in my upbringing. As mom, I’m doing everything I can to make sure you feel safe to be as silly as you wants. One Saturday morning, that meant buying a car full of balloons and heading to the park, where we drew in all the little Asian kids who asked if it was your birthday. It wasn’t. It was Saturday.

It was baffling to them to see a float of balloons without there being a reason for it. And the excitement and enthusiasm in their eyes, how the “switched on” at the side of bubbly colorful balloons tangling and teasing their way, tells me their parents probably don’t encourage a lot of madness either.

You have a beautiful free happiness in you that I’ve never seen. It grounds me and brings me so much joy in a world that is always too serious. I hope you never ever lose that.

Muslim Reformer Shireen Qudosi

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