I was raised by immigrants from a big Turkish-Armenian family. It’s an old family, sprawling across Istanbul, across Turkey, across the globe. If I mention reading a study from New Zealand or Brazil or Lithuania or Poland or wherever, the response is inevitably, “Oh, we have cousins there!”
It takes a village to raise a child, and while most of our village was overseas I still felt their presence. I was singularly blessed to have a veritable metropolis of strong role models supporting me. Despite having been born and raised in America, my roots grew too deep in foreign soil to be pulled free.
Now I have a daughter of my own. A wide-eyed, strawberry-haired little gummy bear. She already loves dolma and a lengthy duduk solo. She is being raised not just by her Mama and Papa, but by a rambling expanse of extended family. In raising her, I have a new appreciation for the love and devotion of my grandmother, my aunt, and my mother.