The same shoes I’ve worn for the past three summers – fondly known as your Baba’s shoes due to his initial insistence on and my resistance to their appeal (don’t tell him he was right) – these same shoes which have survived motorbike rides, forest-deep hikes and the hottest of summer suns and feet, yesterday, on a warm autumn day as I delighted in kicking up freshly fallen golden leaves, rubbed my ankle to blood. I can’t help but love these sandals, even now, but maybe it’s time to admit that it’s time for a change.
You’ve both got stinkers of colds, M the first of the year, T the first of your life. Between the three of us we’re a box of tissues down, a few hours short on sleep but totally dosed up on cuddles. Sickness has some perks. And now, while you inshallah sleep of some of these sniffles, I’m sitting and thinking of dreams, and the concept or definition of a dream when a dream in a dream is so real and uncertainty, or doubt, is all present, part of the package.
Before we were parents dreams were both selfish and ambitious, unreal conversations spinning evenings into mornings and back again. But these dreams, even within the realism of their qualities, were mostly untouchables. And then you were born, my precious little ones. And overnight dreams metamorphed from the selfish to the selfless all for you. We no longer dream for our dreams but dream for the dreams you are dreaming, that you will dream and pray guidance for our role in those dreams you’ll have dreamt. Our dreams of you dreaming are greater than the greatest dream we never dreamt. Alhamdulillah, He gave that one to us for free.
But we’re torn now, M & T; caught up in the generation game which will frame out your lives and give horizons to the dreams of us all. Living in this country has to be our right choice today, closing some doors, opening others, and in my dreams tonight restrictions and obligations swirl amongst liberations and liberal violations, ironic hot summers and still cold enough winters, driving permits, messy easels and green grassy fields, mushy peas atop doner kebab. then the call to prayer raises us peacefully. Dreams slip into nothingness, new ones build around. Slowly I’m learning to let those nighttime dreams slip, and not try to catch them, to find the balance that is reality of my horizons, praying this can raise your dreams to vertical heights. And drafting new dreams.
Every step that we take has a purpose to it. I may not understand a little or at all, but I believe it deeply and completely. I also believe that this life is too short to forget its purpose on the road, is too long to let dreams fade into nothings. If we’re not careful, the definition of what life should be becomes so conflicted with living that we don’t see the dreams we are shaping into being are the dreams we are dreaming of living.
Yesterday as my shoes did their worst, there were parks with big slides and delicious food served by beautiful people and glimpses into unreal worlds. The Bosphorus was our backdrop and our desires was our only frame. We were living my dream, just minus one. And now, Sunday morning, 9am. Baba’s already been in the agency for over an hour – this is the reality of dreams. When I came to this country, I fell in love with so much of its culture and quirks and too, its hurdles which were waiting for me to jump. Then I met a man who wanted to share in my dreams, and offer his to me; a gift so precious it hurts. I didn’t think it would be easy, didn’t think the road would be smooth and never dreamt we’d have you two in it to share with. So whilst some days may be clouded with worry and self-doubt and failings in faith of the ability of us both, it’s time I remembered these other things, these plans we never made and things I loved to hate and reminded both of us, and all of us, that our dreams are being right now. New shoes may be a good start.