Ironically, moving to somewhere with nothing around has filled my world, yet with quite what I’m not sure I can name. Whatever it is though, this combination of delight and exhaustions sweeping time into memory boxes, is somehow leaving me no time to collect thoughts into here. Instead, sticky fingers twirl my skirts into musical tents, tomatoes still warm from the ground pull new recipes from me, rosehips ask to be coaxed into jam and G and I plan and dream and redraw. Life, holding time hostage is saying don’t stick me down here, Xerox me instead in your hearts. A friend told me she was excited to see how the move would change the blog and I didn’t quite get it – I do now, though I can’t give an answer. I still want to, somehow, record this, letting dust collect on piles of plates sitting idly on the sink. I want to remember how you play together all day, and dream together all night. I want documented proof of the hours spent wet and laughing everyday, of the paint stains that we’ll leave when we move. I want for you, MKM, to return here when you’re older and find the kitten that you drew on the wall, and for you too, Tiny T, to see your footsteps everywhere. I want you to remember how your Baba drew you water rainbows in the summer and sat with you legs dangling through the balcony rails fishing into grass as in the background the adhan rang out. I need you to find here snippets of your life, budding into a childhood well spent.
A few months ago, before Ramadan came and went or T could run or M had scaled the wall to be forever known as the wall, we were having a day of it. Finger-paint speckled walls, to-the-floor rejected lunch requests, involuntary tears from the baby, cracked glasses no-longer-full of the wrong flavour juice and gut wrenching sobs when the incorrectly sized Tigger teddy was sat at the lunch table. Six o’clock I gave in, bundled the squawking kids into a too-hot car and drove as slowly as I could to the lakeside, bought the largest ice-creams I could justify – for them – and the biggest shovel I could find – for me – and let the lightest of winds collect our unspent breath and set it loose on the mountain backed water. It worked; with every drip smudging his acrylic(!) streaked face I saw M’s shoulders drop a little more, as mine fell in response to his smile. And then he escaped. T, not M. In a blink he went from next to us on the sand to ankle-deep in the water, and M, beside him in that second and always was waist-high and sodden entirely. And as my arms reached in to scoop them I felt the tear drop. I hadn’t wanted them to get wet today. Hadn’t wanted the drama of sand inside nappies and staying covered myself whilst paddling in jeans. I hadn’t wanted anything more, or any less than the ice creams licked in drips on the shore. call it karma or God or toddler-timing to a T, it was that night, as salt water mixed with fresh that M chose to try to swim, pushing himself away from me, arms splaying outwards, head back and up, grin filling the whole of the lake. “Kaan’a bak Mummy! Kaan swiiiiim!” And so the tears fell heavier, propelled with his delight cursing through me, erasing the seconds, and day of before. I was present and watching as my son struck out freely, uninhibited by fear or embarrassment, unrestricted by time or the laundry of heavy shorts and most of all in that moment, not held back by a reaction of mine. The tears turned to cheers and stayed that way until Tarkan, clapping his brother, splashed himself too thoroughly and they started again. It wasn’t until both boys were dry, sand was rubbed into new nappies and jeans were unfolded to drip dry (again) that I noticed the camera, my camera, the one I use to record them for this blog in our daily life nothings had been caught up and was buried under sand. It’s been six weeks since. And for every moment when I’ve longed for its flash ready to grab and record, there’ve been many more times I’ve been thankful for its absence. When instead of recording I’ve been able to be present, to let memory record highlights to regale.
Still though, via other devices we’re so lucky to have, we have captured our summer even if I’ve not managed to get it all down. I don’t know where this blog is going, and nor do we really know quite where our life is either, all I know is that we’re on the right track; mostly lost, in found summer days.