Yesterday was my daughter’s 24th birthday. I woke up with a sense of ease and peace and decided not to rush out of bed. I prayed, read a few articles, scrolled social media a bit, and proceeded to plan out my day, making it downstairs to my desk about an hour after waking.
I had a client recap to complete, along with some invoicing and calendar invites to get out for the week. I play music often while I work. Sometimes, podcasts or sermons, but mostly music. Today, I decided to play the Stevie Wonder station on Apple Music, listening to tunes I hadn’t listened to in a very long time, along with discovering a few I never heard.
I was really jammin. Especially when, “If You Really Love Me,” ‘Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing’ “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer,'' came on. My thoughts started drifting to the concept of love and the act of loving. My daughter's birthday falling on February 13th just adds a special pizazz to it being so close to Valentine's Day. Now, while so many view holidays, especially Valentine’s Day, as this money-scheming, money-grabbing, overly commercialized day, it’s always been a day of loving for me. Sharing love, growing in love, self-love, especially Black loving. Loving on my family, children, friends and lovers. Although I've spent more time single than in a relationship, I still love this day.
You see, my mother always went out of her way to make us feel special on holidays, my two brothers and me. We would wake up to individual cards and boxes of candy waiting for us each. My father gifting my mom flowers, candy, and cards. And over the years, I've done the same for my children. I've also sent my mom, family and girlfriends valentines and simply gifting myself love and joy.
When I had my firstborn, my joy spilled over into my daughter’s birthday. I always try to make her day special. And this birthday was special because as she leaned into 24, she became a mother, and watching her mother has been indescribable. Laboring with her to bring a new soul into this world is an experience I’ll cherish forever.
So, yesterday morning I decided to cook us breakfast, heart-shaped pancakes and I had to include the numbers 2 and 4, of course. I sliced strawberries, made cheese grits, a mimosa for her and sprinkled the pancakes with powdered sugar. My youngest daughter and nephew helped me carry her plates and drink to her.
For me, this is love and loving. Doing things that bring me pure joy and delight, all while smiling in the face of adversity. I look for every opportunity to honor my life and my heart, and my love, no matter what. And to end with the sweetest, unexpected surprise as I watched the Rams and Bengals. I had the SuperBowl volume glaring so much that I didn’t even notice the doorbell. There was a delivery man at my door and my youngest yelled from the top of the steps saying there was someone at the door. I was confused and slightly afraid as it was dark outside because we didn’t have the outside lights on.
To my surprise and delight, there were two dozen long stemmed roses, a beautiful pop-up card, and an ice-cold bottle of French Rosé, La Vieille Ferme Rosé.
Whether you end up with gifts, little small or none, revel in the idea of loving. Loving on yourself, loving for the sake of love. Doing anything today that brings you joy and highlights your love for self and for others, please be sure to do that.
I love this quote by Kahlil Gibran, “A relationship is placing one’s heart and soul in the hands of another while taking charge of another in one’s soul and heart.”
Happy Loving Day, beloveds,