Welcome to Barış…
8.2.87. / 11.45 At The Clinic
Dear Barış two of us are together now. You were recently surprising us by your intelligence and talent. Everyone has a story with you to tell.
It might interest you to learn about these in the future. I decided to tell you to yourself lest most of these are lost in time.
My method will be to go back as far as I can remember and then to continue from today.
I gave birth to you three years ago in Hacettepe hospital. I recall our first encounter. You were an orange baby. You took a few days to get used to breastfeeding.
You were so pretty in the sterile rags at the hospital. In getting hungry you sucked the piece of cloth with your name that they tied to your arm.
We first went out to fresh air on the 7th day. It was distressing to be in the hospital for both of us. Caner spent nights in duty rooms for helping us. You also went through a failed circumcision at the time.
I recall the hospital door. We had put you into some loose-fitting clothes and got you out wrapped in a blanket. Your face got wrinkled like a pickle under day light. And we went back home. The neighbours came to see you. Their son Murat was 11 years old and hadn’t got circumscribed. He heard about your circumscision with such an envy.
On the day we got home, we took you out for a walk. You slept soundly.
Then in the sleepless and stressful months you began to adapt to the environmental conditions. Until you began speaking, your relations with the outside world were limited. You began speaking by a quick and smooth process. I loved you more in that period. And the reason: It was so nice to watch your socialisation process and verbal development and to participate in this process.
You walked when you were 10.5 months old. You began speaking in your second year. Let me now tell what happened when you were 1.5 and which we couldn’t help but talk about for a long time.
After 1980, we were going through a strange social process. Ataturkism was walking all over and the place was filled with Atatürk cartoons. It’s been 7 years but the circumstances are not much different. The prime minister was T. Özal and the Cumhur-president was K. Evren.
You were watching TV on the one hand and eating on the other hand. It was the eve of May 1st. A state person was shouting on top of his scream in warning the citizens. You just looked at him and turned me to say: “Mommy, he is not Atatürk.”
You see and perceive the outside world by eyes with such realism. From time to time in watching you I think that people degenerate in becoming adults and lose many of their abilities.
I recall another day when you surprised me. You had just got past your third year. You had returned from your three weeks vacation in Datça with the grandma and Nuray. At home at 100. yıl, we were again eating together and chatting. I told you a nursery rhyme. “This thing runs for ever, winding up not ever” (Heart), “two little spoons are stuck on the wall.” You said “Mommy let me tell you something now” and “The cloud it comes and goes… White houses like boxes those…” (Nazım H.) I found out about the poet afterwards.
We have so many experiences with you. I’ll note down the more recent ones that I recall also to come back later:
We lost the grandpa on December 31st. Having just come from work in İstanbul, I had to hug you, give your present (a huge mask of Santa Claus) and immediately go to the grandpa. You were surprised.
I wanted to talk to you in the evening at home, since I also had to go the next day and you weren’t able to understand what was happening.
By assuming that you have no concept of death due to your age, I followed a sequence like this. I’ll write our conversation:
“Dear Barış something happened today. I apologise that I couldn’t talk to you since I had to go. But I also have to go tomorrow.”
“Because I have to say goodbye to grandpa Sabri, he is going far far away.”
“Where is he going to?”
“He was tired in this world. He had to go far away to be with the angels.”
“Will we see him again?”
“Perhaps we may never be able to see him Barış.”
“But I will want to see. (Your eyes were filled with tears) We’ll take the bus and go to see him.”
“Barış no bus goes to that place. I’m afraid we won’t be able to see him.”
“Is that place like a dream mommy?”
“Yes Barış it’s very much like a dream. But we can see him in our dream if we miss him too much.”
“What if he won’t come to my dream?”
“He will absolutely come if we miss him.”
You didn’t ask any other question. Next morning we woke up together. You said “My grandpa went to the angels, right?”
Two days later we were surprised to see you telling a friend who was visiting us: “Caner’s daddy died.”
. . . . . . . .
I’m observing your curiosity towards the outside world. Your recent joke was an attempt to measure radiation by a ruler after tea plants got polluted by radiation from Chernobyl.
You had a recent dialog with daddy: I’ll write what I heard.
“I like this chocolate cake.”
“Others [başkaları] like it too.”
“I am others. When someone says you resemble your father I say No I am someone else [başka biri].”
How nice it is to see you with an identity as “SOMEONE ELSE”!