Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Nisha

Nisha.  It was love at first sight.  And such love. . .

Expecting a boy (of course), Marash Boy and Marash Girl had already decided on naming their first child "Nishan" after Marash Boy's father. Nishan -- in Armenian, a good sign, a sign of good fortune, the (implied) sign of the cross.   A girl?  Nisha it is, then! Marash Boy and Marash Girl's very first child, their Armenian child, their Armenian daughter, their Armenian Marashtsi daughter, their beautiful blonde Armenian Marashtsi daughter.

Carrying her in the deep blue corduroy Snugli (what we called the front baby carrying pack in those days) as the back pack was too dangerous -- her mother would never know if a stranger was approaching from behind to entertain her beautiful baby . . . Living in a 4 floor town house on Beacon Hill -- 36 West Cedar Street, to be exact, Marash Girl would take Nisha out for her daily walk  around Beacon Hill, in the fresh air, pushing her in the carriage that had been used in 1925 for her Aunt Arppie. Marash Girl and Nisha (and the carriage) were the focus of all the elegant as well as the homeless folks that hung out on the Boston Common.  They loved the fact that little Nisha had bare feet (no shoes were healthier, Doctor Reiner  said; she'll learn to walk faster -- but of course that was later!)  Perhaps the homeless could identify.

Her first year out was along Charles Street, Boston Common, the antique stores, up and down the steep, narrow byways of Beacon Hill,  past Louisburg Square (the cobblestones made it impossible to pass in a baby carriage -- Baby Nisha would have bounced right out of that carriage) and what adulation she enjoyed.  Serious and attentive to her surroundings,  sizing up the folks around her at all times, she would often be found staring at folks until they returned her stare with a smile.

Learning to speak, she never attempted to speak until she could speak the word or sentence perfectly.  No first attempts; only perfection.

Gramps (Great Uncle Levon Apovian) would often ask Marash Girl why Marash Girl, good mother that she was, would bleach the hair of such a young child.  Although he himself was Marashtsi, he did not understand that Nisha came from a line of Marashtsis with blonde hair and blue eyes.  Is she adopted, everyone wanted to know . . . "Funny she doesn't look like you or your husband . . . Funny she doesn't look Armenian. . . " 

Beautiful and serene (her grandmother would say, "agurendan satiyor" -- she's so serious) she was and still is, as she continues to evaluate the world around her and contribute through the scientific research that she began at age 5.  Scientific research at age 5, you ask? Hermit crabs, Gerbils, Turtles, Kittens, soon to be followed by amoeba under a microscope!  I'm sorry, Nisha.  I know you always wanted a puppy, but as the mother of four, Marash Girl could not manage.  Happy Birthday, Nisha.  May I offer you today what I could not offer you in the past?  The puppy of your choice for your birthday?


  1. I was such a serene and happy baby because I had such wonderful parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins around me all the time! Thank you for the beautiful post. Love you guys!!! But I think I will pass on the puppy, at least for now ...

  2. Awww, what a glamorous first year of life!!! And now she's just like all the elegant people in Boston Common that she was evaluating.