To my 13-year-old daughter

To my dearest daughter…

You’re only 10 months old, this week has been one of the biggest, then again I say this every week and every month. But yesterday for the first I saw you crawling on all fours, four days ago you clapped for the first time and yesterday you did a half wave, almost a bye-bye. And here I am today writing to your 13-year-old self. Of all the colourful, crazy and wild things I have written this is the hardest to write.

As I write, from behind my laptop screen I see you smiling, I wonder how those little teeth a few millimetres out can bring me so much joy. Maybe its your innocence, your pureness, or maybe it’s how tiny you are (not that I’m that big myself). Your every move and expression takes me to another land, to somewhere on a rainbow, or even better, to the other side of a rainbow. The way you quench your nose when you smile (just like my smile in photos) makes you an edible piece of vine leaf dolma.


I often think of your future. It must be a mother-thing.

I also reflect on how Kurdistan has changed, how the times have ‘progressed’ I am confident the thoughts I have today would have not passed the mind of my parents “back in the day” when I was your age…

Back then the wish of my parents was for me to grow far from the sound of bombardment and war. Today, my thoughts of your future, dearest daughter, are well beyond that.

If I told you of my thoughts you will laugh.

I think about you scrolling down Instagram, it will take time for you as a teenage girl to comprehend that inner beauty matters and filtered, edited photos with six layers of foundation and botox lips is not what every girl must look like.

I think about how you will enjoy time with your friends. Will you draw on the ground with chalk and play hopscotch or run around playing hide and seek, my motherly side doesn’t want to imagine you looking down at a screen to text a friend who happens to be sitting to your right. Also, I’m sorry if the future you isn’t sure what hop scotch is. After all, I am the mother who listened to music on cassettes, used VCR video tapes, Floppy Disks and MSN.

Will you bake cakes, cookies and create a mess in our kitchen with your friends, or instead have junk food away from home?

Will you talk to me about your life’s big questions or will you type them all into Google. My dearest, I’d be sad to see a world where Google takes the place of a mother’s wisdom, caring advice or her loving words.

How will you spend your evenings? Will you shut the bedroom door in isolation watching Youtube under the cover of “I have homework?” Or will you sit on the kitchen table discussing with us all the thoughts  and dreams that across the mind of a thirteen year old? In my time, homework, food, television and all sorts of activities took place in one little room, in my parent’s time it was to the light of a lantern.

I wonder what our conversations will be like. Can we discuss the recent novel you read or a documentary you want us to watch together? Or perhaps you want to persuade your father and I to take you to some place in the world to discover a new culture? Or will our conversations be about why you’re not allowed to have a handbag that is half the cost of a car.

I wonder what your Google search will read: How to wash paint brushes or how to wash makeup brushes? How to read more books or how to read people’s minds? How to be confident or how to please people? How to be healthier or how to lose weight? How to be rich or how to change people’s lives? Each will tell stories about who you are in this challenging, sometimes confusing, world for a thirteen-year-old-girl.

What podcasts will you listen to? What music will you enjoy and who will be your role model in life? They will all say a lot about you.

I also know the thirteen-year-old-you, is not the same as the thirty-year-old-you. I’m far from who I was at thirteen, but in this changing, fast pace world I tend to think a lot of the type of girl I want you to become. Then again, it’s not about me is it? It is about who you want to become.

I am supposed to be a young mother. A modern mum. I am supposed to be the understanding mother, and the friend… I’m not sure if with time you will keep me in that box or categorise our talks with “back then” and “now”

Always know, my lovely that back then, now, and forever I love you.

Love from

My Nest in Kurdistan (hopefully, your Nest too)


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