Sunday, July 11, 2010
Feeling a little bookish...
(Okay-- Truth in the Dark is getting LOTS of attention... I thought I'd point out that it wasn't the ONLY thing I released in June. You know. In case anyone was wondering if there was something out there that I'd written and maybe, uhm, they hadn't read? Well, this is probably that work. Just, like, if you were wondering or anything:-)
The Quinceanara was lovely-- truly lovely.
For those of you who have never been, a Quinceanara (sic!) is a fifteenth birthday party--except, well, bigger.
Try thinking "Debut Ball" with a religious ceremony to start with, and you'll have something of an idea.
The birthday girl has attendance, and she walks down the aisle of her home church and dedicates her life and her womanhood to God--some lovely symbolism, if, really, something I'm wary of teaching my daughter for reasons of my own. It didn't stop me from appreciating the sentiment and the beauty of it, and, of course, the reception was wonderful.
There was a buffet and dancing and entertainment-- part of the entertainment WAS dancing, including an ancient South American (Aztec) dance and that was pretty amazing--just watching the dancers MOVE was pretty amazing. Of course, when the shonalen (and my phonetic translation is HORRENDOUS, jsyk) was given gifts and then presented to the four corners of the earth-- male, female, elder, younger--my pagan-o-meter went off and I thought "A-HA! *THIS* is how Chicken and I survived the ceremony!" I am aware that many coming-of-age rituals are fairly pagan in origin... you just don't always have them confirmed for you with big beating drums, four foot pheasant-feather headdresses, and hot South American dancers with ab muscles that could etch diamonds! (Okay--only two of the eight were men. But those two really counted!)
Then, when that was over, the Quinceanrean and her attendants danced a traditional waltz (danced to a lovely Mexican song that will simply have to be a haunting memory, I guess) and then a hip/hop song that the kids played up with a flare for the dramatic. There was supposed to be another performance by a group of traditional Mexican dancers (think the colorful skirts and big sombreros) but they got there late, and by then, we had to leave.
About having to leave...
See, the thing is, Squish's day care provider is Dominican--she speaks Spanish, she cooks traditional South American dishes--lots of homemade beans, flavored rice, and broiled meats--and listens to Spanish television. We didn't realize how much Squish really missed her other home, until she came in from about an hour of dancing (because when there were no performances for her to watch with open mouthed fascination, they played traditional Mexican music and the short people RULED the dance floor-- she did the dance moves she learned in class for HOURS, much to the delight of many of the parents, and, of course her father) and, sweaty and breathless, demanded MORE FOOD.
"Yes! The food is delicious, mommy. I would like some more, please."
Okay--she was just CHOWING down on that plate of beans, rice, and meat (and she used no tortillas, because she doesn't in day care) when it hit us. She really DID feel like she hadn't eaten in six weeks. Apparently, mama just does not cook like Brenda, and that is Mama's fault. The corn dogs she had today for lunch were a SEVERE disappointment.
Anyway, she was KNACKERED after four hours of dancing, eating, watching performances, being polite... and it was time to leave. She sobbed, all the way out the door. It was the BEST PARTY EVER--and Goddess bless her, I could already see her planning her own. I didn't have the heart to tell her that, along with dancing, running, and singing in public, there was nothing in either her bloodline, financial disposition, or inherited tradition that was going to get her a fifteenth birthday party--or a sixteenth or an eighteenth or even a twenty-first--like this one.
Her older sister had a more practical take on her upcoming birthday, though (sweet sixteen, for the record). "I want two weekend passes to Sacanime, and a LARP costume from Vampire Knight. Can we afford that? Awesome. I'm the happiest girl in the world!"
"You don't want a Quinceanara?"
"Are you kidding? Do you know how many people's faces would get ripped off if you had to throw one of these things? I want my mom HAPPY for MY birthday!"
And so her mom shall be!