by Diana Papazian

A place called home

I’m from a place of endless nights
of conversations by the kitchen stove.
I’m from a place where people smile,
yet their eyes betray generations of 
sorrow and misplaced hope.
Where children are loved fiercely
yet seldom praised,
for too much praise might 
make them less than humble.
I’m from a place where people dream
of land that spreads from sea to sea
in a land-locked reality.
I’m from a place that might seem bleak
and yet is home, warm, sweet home.
I’m from a place…


You, self-motivated, hard-working, loyal.
You, eloquent, optimistic, funny.
You, poised, level-headed, open-minded.
You, well-dressed, leading a charmed life, smiling at the camera.
You, nail-biting, anxious, obsessive.
You, sleepless, paranoid, desperate.
You, antisocial, pessimistic, suicidal.
You, so complex, so human, so vulnerable.

Before you were born

Before you were born, I was a workaholic.
I was a 9-5er, a jewelry maker, an artist.
I was a wife,
part-time, after work, when I had a moment.
I was a daughter,
when I wasn’t busy worrying about my job or my next jewelry show.
Before you were born,
I knew I didn’t want children.
I loved them but didn’t want them
because I was terrified of the responsibility, of losing myself, of screwing up big-time.
Or maybe I wanted to adopt them.
All of them.
Before you were born,
I remember speaking with my sister-in-law, who was pregnant,
about how we would have no problem leaving our children with our parents or husbands
so that we could get away and make time for ourselves.
Before you were born,
I was blissfully unaware.
And then you were born.
A boy when I wanted a girl.
A brown-eyed (once established), when I wanted a blue-eyed.
But you were there.
You were perfect.
After you were born, my heart exploded.
After you were born,
I was terrified
because I realized that I could never, ever imagine life without you again.
I realized that I would have been just fine if you weren’t born
but now that you were here,
there was no going back.
After you were born,
I knew that I would live for your hugs, your snuggles, your kisses.
After you were born,
I knew that I would never stop worrying again (as if I needed to worry more!).
After you were born,
I realized that I could never hear about another child being hurt
without instantly thinking of you
and becoming a blubbering, emotional mess.
After you were born,
I realized that while there would be moments during which I would want to hide
in the basement
and cry out of sheer frustration (terrible twos!),
while I’d be delirious from sleep deprivation (going on 2 years),
I would never, ever, regret that magical day when you came to us.
You were born.
And I was born with you.       

About the Author:

Diana Papazian is one of the crazy people who quit a stable government job, with her husband’s support, to try and make a go of her beloved jewelry business and writing. She is originally from Armenia and sometimes still finds herself fine-tuning the balance between her Armenian and American selves.