Life’s too short.
Bury your little cousin in the sand. Bury yourself in the sand.
Once in a while, eat dessert first.
Find your great-aunt’s make-up. Put it on your cousin. Put it on your other cousin. Do this without said great-aunt’s permission.
Relish, not dread, family parties. Ask each cousin’s mommy if it’s okay you have a cupcake. They don’t have to know that it is one cupcake per mommy. It’s quite simple actually. Four cousins equals four cupcakes.
People watch at your local farmer’s market. Ooh and ahh over pretty things.
Try new things. Try new places. The worst that could happen is you don’t like it and you just try something else.
Vietnamese shop, Marina, CA
Live a modest life so when it is time to step outside of ritual and routine, you can really go all out.
Ghirardelli Factory Outlet, Lathrop, CA
After the funeral, we stayed in the Monterey Bay for a few days. We went to the beach with my cousin and her three children.
They were obsessed with finding sand crabs. Their cousins learned from their grandfather how to find those little critters just as I learned from my father when I was a little girl. I remember I would beg and beg to go with him on his fishing excursions. I look back and realize that we would leave so early in the morning that the dark blanket of the sky muted sounds of our tiny little farming city as we would stop at the local donut shop, black coffee for my dad and always a chocolate raised donut for me. It felt like the entire world was asleep until we would climb the sand dunes to our destination. Waves crashed over and over like they were having a conversation that we just happened to overhear. The ocean was alive.
Decades later with my own children, I am comforted to know that it still is.