Dearest loyal reader, been a while? I swear my excuse this time is legitimate, I became a mother and I chose for everything else in my life to go on hold!
I have not written anything for sometime it feels surreal to come back to the laptop and know I will type my thoughts away. I will write words and sentences that may mean nothing to someone else, but to me, will reflect all the thoughts and emotions running around inside my body. After every sentence I have written so far God knows how many times I have looked to make sure my little baby isn’t waking up by the sound of the keyboard.
Last night I was watching my son gradually fall asleep in my arms…his little hand firmly gripping my index finger. A grip that says “Daya I feel safe holding your hands,” this made me think motherly thoughts that are now becoming more and more familiar to me.
My husband and I, both Kurds, with completely different backgrounds share one thing in common- we were born at a time where Kurdistan’s future was vague, unpredictable and the living circumstances were very difficult for our parents.
On many occasions my father reminds me of our life when I first opened my eyes into the world. You see, dearest reader, I was born a refugee, and a year after the chemical attacks of Halabja. My mother’s family had all their Iraqi IDs taken off them, my uncle was also taken (and later killed) and they were thrown on the border of Iran. Both countries-Iraq and Iran- refusing them nationalities. Why? Because they were Kurds. Yup! That’s the only reason.
I was still an infant when my father left mum and I to come and battle in the mountains for my freedom, and a better future for me and many children like myself (he left without evening telling mum- we will leave that story for a later time). It was conflict, battles, people had fled, others suffered immensely. The times were extremely tough. Kurdistan wasn’t the Kurdistan we know of today. I still do not understand how my father left me and put his life at risk (like many other fathers at the time) knowing if something happens I would have to be raised without his presence. How difficult were those discussions he had to make?
Then again, even today, we have fathers who are Peshmerga, leaving behind their newborns, now knowing if they will return on their two legs or their corpse will be brought back home.
Similarly, my mother-in-law speaks of how they escaped, during their journey in harsh weather conditions; My now husband, just over 12 months at the time, became sick. I can imagine my in-laws concerns over their first child getting ill in a time and place with no medical access while their lives in danger.
Our parents were concerned for our future. The instability and situation of Kurdistan affected their lives and forced them to take difficult decisions for our sake. If I ask my mother-in-law or my own father, they would have wished for us to be born at a time like today. But.
Fast forward 26, 27 years.
Today, my son is born in what I hope is a safer time and place then the time my husband and I were born. However, nearly three decades later, I feel just like my own parents and my partner’s parents who were concerned for our future, we too, fear and are concerned for our son’s future.
My son is born at an era where man chops the head of another, where over an hour from where he lives humans are treated like beasts, women are being used as sex slaves, man burns another man alive, children are being trained to be terrorists and I can go on, but it’s best if I pause here before I drown him in my river of tears.
I know for sure, my son is luckier than many children. During my pregnancy I sat at meetings that discussed child slavery, child marriage, children being ill due to harsh living conditions, women giving birth under tents, (I will leave it to you to imagine those meetings blended with a pregnant woman’s hormones) so I know too well the tough circumstances of other mothers. However, like any mother in the world I wished to promise my son a peaceful life in a peaceful place. After all, I am the one who brought him to this world…
Sadly, there are many promises I would love to make, but with the situation we are in at the moment I can’t make any of them.
I wish to promise him great doctors and perfect health facilities should he become ill, I wish to promise him that I am sure the vaccine he will be receiving are quality controlled, the medication he will get is not expired, the day care he will go to has safety and hygiene measures, and above all I wish to promise that he will live in a safe, happy place.
Other than the empty promises that I will not make there are bigger and wider concerns… like politics! Shall we go there? No. Forget it.
The times have changed, while the situation is better than when his parents were born, I still wish my son will be raised in a Kurdistan that is truly his nest. As a parent I dream of a safe nest for him to grow up in. When I feel him grasping onto my finger with all his tiny little fingers I can’t help but smile and tell myself: This is life Saza, just promise him your love.
Is it enough to promise our children only love?