01 January 2011

Christmas 2010 (ii)

22 December 2010
I couldn't stay entirely idle at my mom's house. There were things that needed doing, and my mind needed occupying. We made a few trips to Target, Home Depot and Toys R Us. I bought the nephew a snowsuit, because kids' things are tiny and tend to be cheap. Dayana and I made gingerbread cookies. Even now, thinking about them makes me a little sick. It was a mix that requires butter and milk. Once it was mixed... know what? Let's not even talk about it. We made gingerbread men and Dayana ate a few bites of hers. I will likely never eat gumdrops again.

"Pretend it's not that good."

23 December 2010
I went to see Derek & Toyya's house. They had just moved in, and had not unpacked. Still, I could tell it was a great place for them. They live within walking distance of the grocery store and near the harbor, which will be lovely in the summertime. Derek made breakfast and I noticed this tiny guy in the fridge. I giggled.

Later, as my mom and I were in line to pick up Dayana from school (which is its own weird subculture), we talked about Derek and Toyya, and how he had written her love letters from the cruise ship back in July. It was a few weeks after he had broken up with my nephew's mother. I told my mom that, in my experience, men forget relationships and the people in them with the rising of the sun. And we laughed, at their fickle ways.

24 December 2010
And then it was Christmas Eve. Kids, skip to the pictures. Adults, you know. Presents had to be pulled out of places and wrapped. My nephew was none the wiser. He was around for some of the wrapping and just wanted to play in the paper. Dayana has that pre - Christmas excitement and I admit it was contagious. I too got excited to see what Santa would bring.

Two kids wearing headbands.

Derek, showing Donnell it's okay for boys to wear headbands. He's also having a serious conversation about gender messages whilst holding a magnadoodle.

Spreading oats & glitter. You know, so the reindeer can find the house AND get a snack.

"Cheese."

"Donnell go get a spoon for your peaches."

Who doesn't love a kid who does a downward dog?

The setup.

25 December 2010
I slept in later than I thought - I guess the peals of laughter didn't quite reach me during hibernation. It went as I'm sure it went in millions of households across the country. We ate breakfast. Presents were opened, but couldn't be enjoyed because there were too many. Dayana would have ignored everything for her dollhouse and Donnell did ignore everything that was not his motorbike. Derek liked all the presents he had said he would be returning, you know, because he didn't want to "do Christmas." I absorbed it all and realized family is strange. I mean my family is strange, but the concept of family is also bizarre. There are people you will deal with for the rest of your life. You will not like them, but you will love them. Their happiness (or lack thereof) will affect you. These people will be your family. And mine is extra special.
Part of my "modern family"

In blue, you have Sianneh mother of Donnell, ex-girlfriend of Derek. You have Donnell hovering over his motorbike. Then you have Derek, and current girlfriend Toyya. Dayana is standing in front of my mom and in the orange, you have Vicki, my mom's wife.

The straw that stirs this cocktail is my mom. I sometimes ask myself how I should "explain" my mom to my friends. I sometimes think I don't have to explain anything to anyone. But I know people have questions they're not comfortable asking and there really is a simple explanation. My mom is transgendered. To the rest of the world, she is a he. That goes for Vicki and Dayana and lots of other people who knew my mom in the past. I'm all for being who you are, and I fully support my mom in this manifestation. Still, I only have one mother. It's possible -- if my mom had not been my best friend -- I would have been willing to forfeit that. If my mother had not been such a mother, I wouldn't have cared to see her go. But I had (and still have) a great mom and we have a great relationship. So my dad and some others can have Adrean. The world can have Dre. Derek and I have our mom.