Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy birthday to my baby II.

So, it's after 12AM here and it's your birthday Tunca.

Another post to write about my feelings. Here it goes: I had always feared how I could love another child like I did your brother. The cliche of a mother having endless love for all her children did prove to be true though - your birth was sudden, early and quick and it epitomized the notion of "love at first sight" to the dot. We thought you would be a brunette at first because the little hair you had was brown, and you had (and still do have) the darkest eyes I have ever seen - yet they seem to sparkle extraordinarily.

The myth of a second child being easier faded as I struggled with finding time for your very basic needs and those of your brother, who was just a toddler when you were born. I tried to love you the most when your brother was around so he could learn how to love another, and it seemed to work. As we always tell him, you were, and still are, awed by Arda, from the moment you opened your eyes. I know that is a good thing - you love him and you want to be like him, but you as yourself is precious and cherished just the way you are.

The guilt that I carry about not taking you to the park as many times as I've taken your brother, or not spending as much time as I did with your brother and many such worries seems to wane when I look at you and see what a great fabulous incredible wonderful child you have grown into.The way you don't give up, the way you try to do everything by yourself without any help, the way you sing made up songs with terrible four letter words and the way you force yourself to step right moves me - believe me that everything about is truly beloved.

Happy birthday baby, Tunca, the baby of the world. I love you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day.

Another quintessential post, I know, I just feel like I have to write it though...

In no particular order...

To my dear father, who always forgives me, no matter how wrong I am, who always expects the most from me, no matter how insecure I am, who always trusts me, no matter how many times I let him down, and who always loved, loves and will love me as his little baby, no matter how old I get...

To my dear husband, who is an unbelievably understanding, giving, joyful, and selfless man to my wonderful children, who never tires of playing with them or explaining to them what is right and what is simply silly, who can watch himself in front of a mirror at 1AM and blow bubbles while washing his face: you rock our world!

To my father in law, who accepted me as a daughter from the moment I met him...

To my grandfather Ali, who patiently taught me how to ride a bike, how to swim, and pretended to have wet the bed that I slept in so I would not get in trouble, I miss you terribly and often dream of us dancing.

To my grandfather İsmail, whom I barely remember, but know in my heart that he held a special place for me in his heart, and can see his legacy in my fathers and uncles lives...

To Paul, who was courageous enough to take care of me as his own daughter at the age of fifteen and pushed me and my bike on countless slopes when my legs gave out...

To Sinan, who is patient and honest and funny and a role model for my children (god help me)...

Happy father's day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


There are times, most nights, that I go to sleep so late that when I get up at 6AM for Arda my toothbrush is still wet.

Just like when I went to school, I am so looking forward to summer vacation. 6 hours of sleep a night, minimum, should take care of the bags under my eyes.

Now, if only I could come to terms with Arda going to camp for two weeks... But that's another post.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Happy birthday to my baby.

As I read "mommy" blogs, I come across many women writing birthday wishes and letters to their children. Many of them describe the moment they first saw their babies - the awe, the wonder, the beauty, the hope all bundled and their own.

I do remember the awe. Your beauty. I do remember, very vividly, the way your spanking new presence brought immense hope. What I wonder, though, is what you saw when you laid your eyes on me.

The euphoria is a must, there is no way you could have missed that, my baby. But did you also feel my fear? My insecurities? I wanted to promise then and there that I would always be there for you, to protect you and to love you and shield you from all the evil and terrible things that happen in life. It came naturally, I had read it in countless books and heard about it in many many songs, and it "fit." But with that "job" came the burden of intense responsibility, the fear of making mistakes - and believe me, I am a sucker for mistakes, and I made many many of them, still do and it's nowhere near ending - but when you're making mistakes that affect yourself, they're easier to shoulder and quicker to recover from. When I realized, the moment you were in my arms, that my mistakes from then on would draw the lines of your future, the ugly face of fear bared its teeth and paralyzed me.

In a few hours time, I got a grip - I controlled how I fed you, how I put you to sleep and who got to be in my room and who needed to stay out. Mind you, only your both grandmothers and aunt were there other than your dad, but for those very few hours, the two of us were all I needed. I guess I was prepping myself for the many years that we would spend together, just the two us, learning from each other.

As days went by, my fear subsided because we lived right by the New York Public Library. If there is someone keeping track of the books people check out and then makes fun of them cracking up at their ineptitude, I would come first with all books on breastfeeding, sleeping, Ferberizing, Weissbluthizing, co-sleeping, pacifier use, discipline, food, and any and every label the library of congress has on childcare. Knowledge gave me the fuel to go on, the mistakes I made and read about uplifted me with the confirmations of the right steps I took and I felt I was doing a pretty good job of being a mom.

You turned me into a patient and easygoing woman - the neurotic, intolerant, and rigid side of me subsided and I happily catered to your every whim, every twenty minutes for the first few months of your life. Another thing that kept me going was my love for mystery novels and I promise when I have a billion dollars I will surely donate some of it the NYPL for keeping me awake those hours of the night.

Anyways, baby, here I am, a mommy blogger, writing my first happy birthday post for you, and believe me, the awe, the wonder, the hope, all of it, continues even more than I first saw you, soaring with every day you grow. Happy birthday. I will always love you.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sweet Home

When we moved into this apartment 7 years ago, we had a hard time going to sleep because it was so quiet. For many years, we lived in Midtown Manhattan, then for our last few months in NYC, we were on the Upper East Side, very close to Memorial Sloan Kettering and another hospital whose name escapes me. We were so used to the ambulances the clanking of trashcans the fire trucks the police cars and pointlessly loud and yelling people that for our first few nights in İstanbul, we were surprised to hear boat horns in the mist and stray cats and seagulls, whereas our mornings were filled with birds chirping and freshly cut grass.

The "ful" flowers in the garden smells sickly sweet in May and when we wind is blowing just right we even feel the salt from the sea just a few blocks away.

It's hard to even imagine moving. Though moving is the best way to get rid of stuff. My next project: clean the storage in the garage and give everything away so there'll be space for the bikes.

ps.; Karaoke night was awesome.