Haigoohi: Swoon 32

My grandma Haigoohi was not very judgmental… she had every right to be, but she had been through too much to judge, there was no time for that. She survived the Armenian Genocide. Once a young girl on the brink of teendom in Turkey, she went from being a well off young lady… to cleaning the homes of the people hiding her family. Her two older brothers were smuggled out of the country, landing in New Jersey, learning the language and becoming bakers. Her dad, who provided horses for the Turkish Army disappeared one night, gone. Her mom went from being a woman raising a happy family, to a woman figuring out how to keep them alive.

I keep seeing posts on social media about kids and teens who are not allowed to see their friends in person and how unfair they think it is. There is a lot of judgement out there, and I agree 100% that these kids have no choice, parents must say no, the kids must stay home. That said, I actually really feel for them. I remember being that age and itching to just go “walk around the point” with a gaggle of girls, laughing, singing, running arm in arm. It was just what we did. We spent days in each others rooms listening to albums, doing dance routines in sunrooms, watching movies on top of each other. At night we went down to the beach to hang out, cuddling up to a cute boy, watching Little Neck Bay’s shallow waves break in the moonlight, listening to 80s rock. Sitting. Talking. Together.

That is what being a teenager is about… but sadly it can not happen that way now. I thankfully do not have teenagers itching to go out. I do have young adults who would normally be going out with friends to bars, restaurants, movies, and game nights… they are not doing this anymore. Maybe having a grandparent living with us helps. Maybe stories of the things their great grandparents went through helps… maybe they are scared of me. Who knows.

We did something super fun last night. We all met up online. We chatted, we played a game, we shared pictures from the rooms we were sitting in… we connected, we laughed, and we were happy. I highly recommend connecting with the people you can not be with in person for a catch up. Show your kids (or have them show you) how to do it. They can be with their friends, they just can’t touch them. Families and adults can have a theme… ladies wine and bourbon, magic tricks, dress up, photo share, a dance party, charades. Kids and teens can do what they do… shoot nerf bullets at each others screens, play games, listen to music, just hang out.

We can all create new social norms, new ways to gather. We are not Haigoohi, hiding in a basement starving… we can do this.

Haigoohi (my grandma), Sonia, and Alice. My grandma never Americanized her name. All but my great grandpa survived. This is the picture sent to my grandpa… so he could “pick a bride”. Between my grandpa and other relatives in America, they got the whole family out. Swoon.

Published by Kat

A mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a graphic designer. I am flawed... but I try.

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