Munira Premji

It was quite the experience  witnessing Mos and Amaal see each other again in Portugal close to their first birthdays.  

They started out ignoring each other for two days, barely acknowledging the other’s existence. They slowly warmed up to each other, but only occasionally. After a few days, they showed a modicum of interest in each other. And then one day, we observed them having a full on conversation at a beach in Lagos, Portugal. There was serious eye contact. There were hand gestures. And they were babbling to each other at a rapid pace. We were mesmerized. 

We imagined what they were saying to each other:

Mos: “Hey Amaal, we’re in Portugal! 

Amaal: “I know dude, this is the 5th country I’ve been to. How many countries are there in the world?”

Mos: “A lot, I think. I just hope there’s bread everywhere. I love bread”

Amaal: “Yeah, yesterday you fell asleep eating bread. You’re so silly, Mopey!”

Mos: “I’m half Dutch, of course I love bread! You love French fries. You’re so Canadian.”

Amaal: “French friesssssss!!!”

After they shared a laugh, they continued talking. This is what we imagined they said:

Mos: “Have you learnt the superpower of pointing? I point to everything and say. “Oh!”.  And my mom and dad respond right away.”

Amaal:  “I know.  Me too!  But I say, “that” when I point.”

Mos:  “I notice that you and I both like toothbrushes.  Maybe we can be dentists together.  We can be “Amaaludin and Mopeydin, Dentistry for Children.”

Amaal:  “Ha, ha, ha, ha.”

And then they stopped talking and went on their own merry ways, totally ignoring the other.

Mos turned one on June 9th.  Amaal’s first birthday was on June 28th. Both children have captured our hearts and imagination. We love Amaal’s mischievous smile as she plays “peek-a-boo”.  Her excitement at seeing dogs is contagious and her Nagib Bapa – scared of dogs – has befriended every dog in the neighbourhood, in service of Amaal. She appears to be fearless and resilient, willing to try anything with the confidence of a one year old that she won’t fail. We love how Mos is a problem solver. His ability to be consumed by a toy for a long time, figuring it out, turning it upside down, is a pleasure to observe. And he’s got persistence and is undeterred when he takes on a task. This, coupled with his sweetness and big belly laughs, makes him entirely too special.  

As they celebrate their milestone first birthdays, we wish them the joy of discovery and exploration, of playing and learning, of becoming who they are destined to become. And we take a moment to thank God for the gift of blessing us with two precious grandchildren who have transformed our lives. Happy first birthdays, Mos and Amaal!


  • Mary Gemmiti , July 4, 2022

    I love these posts. It truly makes me happy seeing you all happy. Witnessing wonderment is such a joy.

  • Dave & Erika McMullen , July 3, 2022

    Happy Birthday Mos and Amaal!! Thrilled that you, your parents, and grandparents are enjoying a fabulous time in Portugal!

  • May , July 1, 2022

    Munira, it warms my heart to read your post! I am so happy for you! Take care! ❤️

  • Barb , June 30, 2022

    Love the amazing photos and “imagining conversations” between Mos and Amaal. Great kids come from great parents, grandparents, and great great grandparents. There is very special genetic strength in your families. Happy first birthday Mos and Amaal. There will be many wonderful years ahead xoxoxo

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