“It was then I realized I grew older”
“Mother\'s jewelry and my bleeding legs”
“Yoy, where is my jewelry?” asked my mother.
Yoy was how Mom gently called me when I was a child. I've started my story with Mom's jewelry since I adored wearing all kinds of rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and also mother's high-heeled shoes in my childhood. After putting on all these things, I would go outside and run around. Can you imagine me running in high-heeled shoes? Right, it is really difficult to imagine such a thing, but try to and you will find me lying on the ground, having hurt some parts of my body, crying heavy tears.
“Mom, I hurt my leg. It's bleeding! Mom!”
Then many tears followed…
I ran and ran and ran until I noticed once the tears were gone, there were no more high-heeled shoes, rings, bracelets and bleeding hurt legs.
14 years old
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“Do you know that we'll miss you?” asked mom, looking at me. “Don't worry, mom,” I replied for the hundredth time.
I looked at the others. Dad was silent but I could feel his hand on my shoulder all the time. Moush and Hon stood silently beside him. Hon's head was against Moush's arm, his eyes looked down. It seemed he wanted to tell me something to make me feel better but words wouldn't come out. Moush looked somewhere, blowing his nose from time to time.
“We'll miss you a lot, dear. We will be waiting for you impatiently,” repeated mom.
“You'd better go home, mom. Hon and Moush want to sleep”. I knew they would not leave and there was a lot of time to wait.
“Take care of yourself,” said dad, trying to sound relaxed, hiding his anxiety. “Don't worry,” I answered.
At last Hon looked up at me. He always looks at people this way: without a smile on his face, silently, as if he were a grown-up. Sometimes, it seems to me that it is not Hon, but somebody else standing in front of me. That day he looked the same way. He winked but I was the only person to notice this.
Moush looked at me and smiled. He looked like mom. She looked at me all the time and did not stop smiling.
“It's time for me to go,” I said.
“We'll miss you.”
I retreated, as if having done something bad.
“You better go,” I said once more.
They didn't say a word. I turned back and walked away. Four of them, the dearest people to me, stood behind me. Hon was looking down, Moush was looking somewhere, dad was stroking Hon's head silently, mom was looking at me, smiling.
The hall was empty. I walked down it calmly, feeling their looks on my back. I knew they were waiting for me to wave to them. For the first time in my life, I understood that they would be waiting for me impatiently, that they would be counting each single day in my absence.
I didn't turn any more. I couldn't smile and they were surely waiting for it.
15 years old
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When one of my friends comes to my place for the first time, I first show my paintings to him or her. I am the creator of most of the drawings but there are also cuttings from various newspapers and journals. “See the hat on that girl's head? I cut it from this journal. Look at this …I painted it. And this is Cinderella with her friend,”
I start explaining.
For years these paper heroes formed my world and I used to play with them for hours on end. “ Nan , can we play too? Can we? Can we?” asked my brother and sister.
I sent them away from my room and closed the door, so that they wouldn't be able to open my boxes and let the paper heroes out. If anyone dared to violate my rules, I stood ready to protect my paper friends. Look, I ruled over these paper men, women, children and the fairy tale heroes, I gave them names, took them to play with in bed whenever I wanted. My brother and sister changed their names and that is the reason I grew mad. It was really unpleasant.
Once I came home and saw my paintings spread on the floor. There were new names written on their back. I stood still. My mother was busy doing something. My brother and sister had turned everything upside down. Mother had done nothing to stop them, though she would have surely done so a few months ago. I wasn't playing with my paper friends any more but still kept them. Then the awful day came…
They took away my pals, my mother let them do this and now I vaguely remember my paper heroes.
14 years old
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“Attention! Ashot's coming”
When I was a small child, my parents used to hold me by the hand when we were c ross ing the street. I was not very happy about this. I thought, “Other children are allowed to c ross the streets themselves. Why aren't I?”
Once I decided to c ross the street alone. My heart was thumping as before a battle. Suddenly the cars pulled down and I realized that I had grown older.
14 years old
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“Will you hold me, dad?”
“Dad, will you hold me, please? Please, dad…"
I liked when daddy held me in his arms when I was a child, even when I had learned how to walk, I still liked this.
I didn't like walking, it was tiresome and my dad or my uncle usually held me in their arms. But I was rather heavy. For them, too, it was tiring and difficult to hold me for a long time.
My uncle offered me this idea, “Let's do this. You tell me when you are tired and I will hold you.”
“I will tell you, uncle.”
Now I smile when I remember this and I ask my dad from time to time, “Will you hold me, dad?”
13 years old
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“Old by Nature”
It was seven or eight o'clock in the morning. I was three years old then, and that is why I don't remember everything clearly. My mother's stories of those days are left in my mind.
Let's move on to the main story.
It happened in the morning, as I already mentioned. I got up, walked out of the bedroom half-dressed and went to my mother. She was in the bathroom. I picked up daddy's socks, which lay scattered on the floor, and said, “Hey woman, why are dad's socks lying on the floor?”
Mom looked at me in surprise and took the socks from me. Please, don't think I have been a spoiled child. I have just called my mom “hey woman,” that's all. My mom believes I behave like an aged person, concerned with everybody's problems.
From my early childhood I liked talking to grown ups. Children playing outside didn't appeal to me. I thought of them as spoiled and badly brought up. I cannot tell you exactly when I felt mature or older. I am the youngest child in the family and will always feel that way.
When I am with my friends, I try to show them I am older but perhaps I don't look like a grown –up, though once I really felt like one. I had fallen in love. Everything was too serious for me. Maybe it was then I grew up, but… hardly…
In a word, growing-up is connected with one's ability to get surprised at what one does. I get amazed at what I do every day.
15 years old
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“I’m not Scared Anymore”
I used to go to bed late at night. I watched TV until three o'clock in the morning. I was especially fond of horror films. One night I was watching “Scary Movie 3”. The film ended rather vaguely and terrifying faces were haunting me all through the night. I couldn't sleep. I held my sister's hand tightly and only then was able to close my eyes. In the morning I saw a bruise on my sister's wrist. See, how tightly I had held it? Sister asked mom to move her bed away from mine after this incident.
I haven't watched horror films since then. Even if I do watch one, I do it at noon . Besides, horror movies do not scare me any more.
I have grown older.
13 years old
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“Farewell to Toys”
I wish for a dog, but there is no room for it in our house. I don't play with my toys any more, so we are thinking of taking them down to the cellar. My dog will probably occupy their place, or…who knows? Maybe, I'll change its place. If I give it this corner, it will jump on my brother Moush and break its legs. I suppose I have to take the toys to the cellar.
8 years old
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“My Younger Brother”
My parents had two children, my sister and me. We lived happy and cared for nothing: ate, played and went to bed. These were probably the happiest days of my life. One day my mom told me that there would be a new member in our family. I was glad to have a brother, a new playmate or, better to say, a new toy. My brother's name was to be Stepan.
We moved to granny's place while mom was in the hospital. Every day we were tying food on a rope and sending it up to the window of the ward where my mom was. I don't remember things clearly. Maybe all this is a matter of my imagination, maybe no rope or any food was ever sent.
At last the day arrived. My mom and brother came home. To tell the truth, my brother didn't meet my expectations. He looked pale and was screaming incessantly. The first drawback is now gone but yelling is still causing much trouble. I asked, “Why is he screaming, mom?”
“He is sorry for being born,” was the answer.
“We can take him to where he came from, if he feels sorry for being born.” This was my offer but no one even listened to it, being busy with the newborn.
I sat pouting in a lonely corner, hoping to be consoled. My two year old sister was the only person paying attention to me.
“Ga, ga, ga…” My brother was babbling something that only another newborn could understand.
“Be quiet,” I shouted in an angry voice.
My sister, I guess, was just as tired of the baby's noise and immediately came to help me kill Stepan. We put the baby down, on the floor, and covered him with pillows. If not for mom… the world would lack a boy.
I cannot tell you for exactly how long I was on bad terms with my brother, but one day I understood that I could not manage without this stubborn and naughty little being. I approached mom and asked her, “Can I hold him, mom?”
Mom usually gave me Stepan to hold with her help. “Come on, mom. I can hold him all by myself. Let him go, please.” I was displeased with not being trusted.
It is only now, many years later I realize that with Stepan in our house, we got not only joy and happiness, but also maturity.
14 years old
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“Maneh, Moush and I”
When I was a child my parents, relatives and everybody else loved me. This is not to say they do not love me now. However, now we have another baby at home, my brother Moush, and people don't want to show they love me. Once my dad used to come home from work, hug me, put me on the sofa and help me do physical exercises: he made me laugh, tickled me and things like this. Maneh, my elder sister, felt jealous about this. Maneh had approached me, raised her eyebrows, looked at me and said, “Get her!”
Now I am older and understand Maneh's feelings. When Moush was born, Maneh couldn't find her place as she was jumping from the sofa onto the chair and from the chair onto the sofa. I was an agile child, even too agile. Maneh didn't need me, I was nothing to her.
When my parents brought Moush home from the hospital I understood that Maneh needed a brother, for him to protect her.
12 years old
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“Long awaited solution”
My mom and dad used to take us home from school until the sixth grade. It was the beginning of September. My father was supposed to come to school but he had had problems at work and failed to be on time. My brother and I sat in the school yard for a long time waiting for him. He didn't come.
We decided to c ross the street and go home alone. The traffic was awful, very dangerous, but I was tired and bored of waiting. So, I took my brother by the hand and said, “Give me your hand. No one is coming to pick us up. We'll c ross the street.”
Tigran didn't say a thing. He took his backpack, and my hand. We c ross ed the road and entered the park. It was there that we met dad running toward us at high speed.
I started growing older since then.
14 years old
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One day I went to buy ice cream with my friend. We met one of her acquaintances on the street who started talking to me as if with a grown-up person, very officially. I felt me a grown-up then.
Here is another story. Mom and I were walking. Mom had pigtails. I had sunglasses on and there was a shawl over my head. Some guys approached us, hoping to flirt. Can you imagine? They had taken us both for very young girls, for friends. They had even thought I was older than mom.
I asked, “Aren't we going to walk in the park, mom?” The guys were shocked, they couldn't utter a word, but I had to do this, for these guys were really flirting.
To tell you the truth, I was just as shocked, since I couldn't understand for a long time whether mom was too young or I was too old.
11 years old
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