Growing up in Beirut
Three things I want to remember about you from last week:
Your mouth learnt to make a new sound, but we are not quite sure if it is ba-ba-ba or pa-pa-pa. Maybe it is both. Perhaps being born in here, you’ve been influenced by Arabic which doesn’t have a letter ‘p’ so ‘b’ gets used instead, turning Pepsi into ‘bebsi’ and potato into ‘batata’.
Your hands learnt two new moves, an itch and a clap, both of which will come in very useful when dealing with out inundation of mosquitoes, to either catch them or scratch the bites from the ones that got away.
Your papa discovered a new way to make you laugh, while tidying up the gardenias, which are in full bloom right now and being sold in strings in the Beirut streets. Every time he pulled at a dead flower you rippled with giggles, laughing their crumpled brown heads off.
As I watch you unfurl, petal by petal, becoming the person you are, I wonder how all these things would be different, or the same, if we were somewhere else.