You very brave Mamas, yes you

We left Istanbul at the end of June for what was to be a short time in America before returning to Turkey and then moving to Izmir. Well, with the attempted military coup, and the subsequent firing/laying off/forcing to resign of academics, we thought it best for our family in this season to wait to return to Turkey. We just didn’t know if my husband’s job would be as sure of a thing as we hoped, and we didn’t want to be caught up in a crazy season of unknown if we didn’t have to.

So, now here we are in quiet Kansas City. I can’t believe I live in the Midwest. I can’t believe I live in a quiet home, on a quiet street, where I’m sure no one really lives because there is this phantom world of garages that allow people to enter and exit without so much as a thought of who might be living next door. It bothers me a bit, but I also lived for 4 years in Istanbul, my kids and I constantly under the microscope of whoever decided that day that they wanted to play scientist, and we.are.tired. I had no idea how tired I was.

I live my life by bucking up to the challenges that come my way, and I usually put a smile on because that makes bucking up more fun. But wow…. I had no idea until I stopped. I had no idea how tiring it was to have to get dressed every single day just to get my kids outside for a breath of unfresh air. I can’t believe for two and a half years, in the midst of pregnancy and mothering a toddler I walked up and down four flights of stairs- sometimes multiple times a day! It baffles me that day-in, day-out I spoke Turkish because I had to if I wanted groceries, or to get home in a taxi, or to get my child proper medical care. Now, as I sit in quiet suburbia, I am laughing and crying. How I did it I’ll never know. But because I did it I know you can do it. You probably are. And you are brave because raising kids in a big city in a foreign country is far from easy and for most of us far from ideal.

iloveistanbulAnd, in the midst I hope you are like I was and are enjoying days for the adventure that they are. I hope you are delighting at cafes in your neighborhoods with their charming quirks, whatever  they may be. I hope you embrace the joy of learning the language and making friends because you made that effort and communication is now possible. I hope you are making a world out of the world you are in and not wishing you are somewhere else. Because if you leave someday, you will miss it. If you are like me, you will remember the bitter with unbelief, and the sweet with tears. You will be thankful that you embraced adventure when you could. You will be thankful your story is a little more colorful than it would have been otherwise. I know because my heart it right there, right now….

And, friend, if you are having a hard day, for goodness sakes eat a Magnum bar… I know you probably walked four miles today, up hills and back down them and up again, with dogs barking and kapıcıs staring and cars not giving you and your stroller and child in the ergo the right of way (jerks!). Girlfriend, you are brave.

About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama and fan of all things Turkey. Among other adventures, Melissa loves living life in Turkey while raising her daughters. On IstanbulMoms you can hear about her adventures and escapades, tips for success, strategies for untangling the culture, and ideas for enjoying life in Istanbul to the fullest.

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