To all Armenian moms on Mother’s Day,
Thank you for showing strength like I’ve never seen before.
For dragging me to Armenian school on Fridays and church on Sundays.
For making sure that I never went without.
For shoveling an extra helping of pilaf onto my plate even when I’d had enough.
For chauffeuring me to birthday parties, AYF meetings, and barahantesses.
For somehow saving enough money to send me to Camp Haiastan for not one, but two sessions each summer.
For sharing your culinary secret: equal parts love and butter.
For opening our home every weekend to my friends and for treating them like family.
For piecing together pennies and scraps of fabric to make a costume for my Armenian dance recitals. It still hangs in my closet even today.
For patiently guiding me through the awkward steps of a traditional haleh.
For running a houseful and still managing to find time for work, the ARS, Ladies’ Guild, and the Church Board.
For taking me to get my eyebrows done at twelve years old because—let’s face it—that could have been tragic.
For stuffing my bags full of homemade snacks packaged neatly in Tupperwares before I left for college.
For sitting proudly in the front row for every Sunday School pageant, April 24th speech, and talent show I’ve given.
For lathering my back with madzoon when I was sunburnt and my front with Vicks when I was sick.
For demanding that I always do my best and to walk with pride knowing just that.
For sending me off on an eight-hour bus ride to Junior Seminar and trusting that the Seniors would take good care of me (they did).
For being tough on me when I needed it and warm when I needed it more.
For buying all of the leftovers at the AYF bake sale—even though you aren’t fond of sweets.
For embarrassing me by taking too many pictures, which at the time I hated. Now I look back with such fondness at the memories you saved.
For being a mother to my friends as well.
For showing me how to be kind.
For teaching me how to stand up for what I believe.
For making me into the Armenian and the woman I am today.
For loving me unconditionally, and for understanding that I’m trying my best to make you proud.