As your Mum, it’s awesome to me that you may think in a language different to mine because words hold so much more than the stories they convey. Language moulds our definitions, creates expressions we grasp onto as we turn emotions into feelings, defines what it is that makes us laugh and so, as incredible as it is that from birth you’ve learnt to hear the silent intonations of both Turkish and English more correctly than Baba or I ever will the others tongue, that thought too scares me a little; can my words ever make sense in those beautiful heads of yours?
I wonder if you realise the pages of annotation filling our lives, if you recognise our language as flawed, formed as it may be from plural alphabets with grammatical fabrications? I wonder if you understand just by feeling, the evocative pull of syllables, why we phrase things as we do. Words are important: mostly, as elusive. Over a lifetime if you’re lucky, you’ll hear thousands of words, repeated in millions of combinations of the same. Know that it’s not just you, that we all spend most of our lives looking for the perfect ones, in a novel, a song lyric, a whisper. Know too that if you listen, you’ll find them.
You fall asleep now, mini as you are, to stories of our days – inconsequential nothings that say it all. For me finding the right words means daily that pictures intended for here stay backed up on the camera. Memories, go unwritten because the time for recording I’d rather divert to making more and yet knowing these pages are here to store moments of time means that sometimes (read: often) those frames end up undocumented anywhere at all. The pictures from the summer of T and his first fig, the contrasts between he (endlessly patient, with an ability to block out all other distractions until curiosity is satisfied) and his brother (headstrongly passionate & with instant inquisitiveness) so strikingly summed up in the first bite of a summers’ long treat, or the photos of art projects, the Picasso found not in the pictures on the paper but the (missing) analogued interactions of your experimenting with painting together. Snapshots of misadventures under corner seats and counting out ants on the hidden-under-sofa apple peel, of twenty-fingered jigsaw and cuddles and kisses and tickles. Long forgotten photos of you drenched in sink-bubbles or outdoor hoses, giggles resonating into the lens as the shutter pauses your childhood. Pictures that deserve each a post of their own so remain unposted for lack of time to share the words already spoken with you. And then there’s the other memories, the ones I should collate here, the words you speak when a camera’s not there. Like how recently whenever you’re in trouble M, T sits down right beside you for moral support. How with one hand on your knee, whilst looking me straight in the eye, T answers every question I ask you – ” Can you tell me why you needed to draw on the wall?” and such like – he answers every question I ask you, “ah boowwahh gee dad da da da” for you. And you, lining your eyes up just as straightly, repeat his answer back syllable for pretty syllable whilst T nods and pats your knee in agreement. And how, faced by this wall of mischievous cuteness I neither could nor want to break, I slope off sharpish, to giggle or just smile to myself.
Language is precious, Babyones. Words – the right words, take time. In our everyday minutes when hours can be never-ending I often don’t get the words perfectly together. I’m often sharper than I wish to be, less eloquent than I could be, and altogether less together than here when, with you both snuggled in bed, toe-to-toe, softly snoring, I can sit and rephrase and swap question marks for full stop sentences, wishing more than likely for a days rewind to delete exclamation marks where full stops should have been. I hope that somewhere in these jumbled straight paragraphs that you can find coherence between your mum on the page and the coffee-totting one who may be teetering between lines, both of whom love you oh so very dearly.