Years ago I stopped celebrating holidays like Easter and Christmas. Not because I had anything against them but because the meaning of these days changed for me. At first I thought it was because of the commercialism and the rhetoric but as the days came and went I realized it was because spiritually I believed the outward celebration wasn’t matching how I felt inside. Friends and family alike thought it had to do with the money…shoestring budgets are NOT conducive to lavish presents and attire. I didn’t argue with them about it, I just didn’t get all emotional when they came around. Christmas was “family day”, we’d get together and eat, share time and stories with each other, oogled at the gifts for the kids and talk until the late night crept in on us. Easter was ancestor’s day, I remembered the sacrifices made for me by those who were no longer physically present in my life and how if “that” event hadn’t happened or “this” person had decided to turn left instead of right, me and mine wouldn’t be here now to enjoy the benefits. The concepts were different to me now I began celebrating changes instead Like New Years, I cook everyone’s favorite dish on New Year’s Day and we hang out with each other and just be. We start the year with good friends, good times and good thoughts. I wanted to start the tradition so that we remember all the changes we’ve had in our life to that date and how much better we are for them even if it’s just what not to do again. The universe changes us at every moment we are never the same as we were moments before so why not celebrate life and put some joy in it. This year I celebrated my forty something birth day remembering how to be a kid I actually said it in passing and it became true I’d mentioned in a tweet with a “sista from another mista” that I wanted my children to show me how to be a kid again My birthday weekend officially started Friday and wouldn’t end until midnight on Monday….. so On Saturday we piled into the car with my brother in law and Waffles and headed out with no particular place to go….we wound up at the beach. Unfortunately the summer at the boardwalks in Jersey aren’t particularly dog friendly so we had to make adjustments. Let’s just say Waffles face pressed up against the window was enough to make anyone give second thoughts to leaving the puppy alone for a while. But, we went on the rides at the pier, well they did (my hips aren’t pier ride friendly just yet but they will be by my next birth day). We ate funnel cake and strolled along with all the other families, we took pictures of everything and I watched my little boy become a real teenage boy. (Sigh) It was worth all the running around, the crowds and missed turns and searching for parking spots Then we crashed into a happy sleep and impatiently waited for the next day, my birth day. Let’s just say my daughter had to wake us up by throwing a shoe at my bedroom window because we overslept. I was supposed to make lunch…fried chicken, salad and snacks, uh the dollar menu at Wendy’s was the alternative to my bleary eyed wake up call. Early Sunday morning we set out with the music blasting….Ledisi’s Bravo became my theme music and Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger was my walking stick. We sang really loud as we drove down the highway. There was no worrying about who heard us, saw us and who cared where we were. We were having a good time I sent pictures of our weekend to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, at first just to see if I could upload pictures but then because I wanted to highlight the day and then I wanted to share it with people who cared about me in one way or another. Let them share my birth day with me. Everybody loves a party Hence all the likes and responses to my phone throughout the weekend I took pictures of bridges, highways, the ocean, the rides and even some wild horses in Maryland. Who knew there were actual wild horses in Maryland right next to the ocean in a marshy inland preserve on Assateague Island? There were cars parked up and down the narrow stretch of highway as people wondered why everyone else was stopping so they stopped and pulled out cell phones and cameras and babies and just awed at the gathering of about ten beautiful horses (adults and colts) eating lunch and minding their own business with the wetlands as a back drop. Gorgeous, breathtaking and surreal When we were turned away from the islands beach because the pup was not on the guest list, we didn’t moan or groan about it we just drove down the road looking for new adventures to the day. When it began to rain we went swimming any way For the first time my Diva didn’t worry that her legs weren’t shapely and she proudly wore her bikini and imitated the Bay Watch intro for us as we laughed and tried not throw her in the waves. Emboldened by her move, I stripped off my flower printed day dress and revealed my own tankini. I gave little thought to who saw and it felt good to not worry about what I looked like to other people and even to that distorted picture of myself impressed upon me by magazines and television shows. I was Supermodel of the world dammit…. Big Gurls Rock! I even posed for my imaginary swimsuit issue cover and didn’t worry about how I looked. Although I did need a hair crew but oh well My children jumped the waves while I tried to stay on my feet (it wasn’t pretty people let me tell you) my nickname became Rollie Pollie Ollie because I spent more time being rolled around the water than I care to remember. But it was fun, and I got about a pound of sand in places sand should never be seen or felt. Fifteen minutes in the water became a half hour, a half hour became an hour and so on until we were too tired to do anything but go home. The rides didn’t even look inviting. The boardwalk was friendlier to the pup so we had lunch at a frog’s bar and we joked with strangers about bathrooms and beer. We found a Doggie café with cookies for the pup and we took pictures of weird funny saying on t-shirts. I didn’t worry about my hair or how I wanted to buy eyeliner so I could put on my face. We remembered playing laser tag the last time we were there and we stood in the CVS parking lot and doused ourselves with bottled water to get the sand out of the hidden places it crept. We laughed about my inability to stand up 90% of the time and we headed to Rehoboth to grab a pack of cigarettes from family who were waiting for us. We took pictures of blue lighted bridges and tried to stay awake ….good luck with that one We found coupons for all the restaurants AFTER we ate I met my first real live drag queen, Miss Peaches, whose eye makeup made we love her to life! I’m going back for tips on walking in heels next trip And we got lost going home but thanks to gps navigation we didn’t stay off the beaten path long. My wish came true I was a kid again, the only thing that bothered me was teenage hormone syndrome and that pretty much lasted through lunch over Crying Frog wings and unsweetened ice tea. I tried fries with vinegar and called my grandmom to say hi and I love you. I munched on a Big Fish sandwich so big I was full just looking at it, Waffles was thankful I couldn’t handle it all. Holidays mean something different to me now, I want them to stand for something, mean something other than what I gave you that you really wanted or won’t be able to wear next year. I want my celebrations to be about living life and holding up the picture of me last year with this year’s and seeing the difference. I want my celebrations to be about my family (all of my family) and talking loud about our day and swimming in the ocean in the rain and not caring who sees me. I want to live my life not just exist within it I went to my cousin’s last week for a cook out….the thunderstorms and heavy down pours were NOT invited but we waited it out beneath trees and we tried to run in slippery sandals indoors. I gasped at seeing my cousin’s (the other comedian in the family) daughters and wished him well in his show that night while shouting out that we should get the cousins together again as he left. I talked to my cousin about the pending birth of their second child and thanked god I wasn’t pregnant in the summer. We waited out the thunderstorm inside while the boys and men grabbed the food off the grill and set up the dining room table. We watched the Olympics and me and my cousin “discussed” the merits of Lebron James versus Michael Jordan, Magic, Dennis Rodman and the championship Chicago Bulls bench in their prime. We watched the kids pull out every toy and throw temper tantrums and play like cousins do and we remembered what we used to do when we were together way back when. I went home happy and I was thankful for all the little things I did that day I celebrated Christmas in August.
Causes Mya Speeks Supports
The Leeway Foundation