Today I felt misunderstood.
Wednesday is the fourth of July. I love the Fourth of July. I have so many nice memories.
Like sitting on Burger King eating a cheeseburger with my Nana and Poppop as we waited for the Feasterville parade to start. Or the thrill of catching a piece of stale candy thrown off of a float. Eating hamburgers and hotdogs with my fourteen cousins. Playing wiffle ball and volleyball in the backyard. And the awe and wonder of a fireworks show’s grand finale.
On Wednesday my family will spend the morning cleaning and hanging out. All my aunts and uncles and cousins will come over in the afternoon. Large amounts of pasta salad will be consumed. My Nana might make her most beloved bread-salad. Later, my brothers will come close to injuring themselves by setting off a backyard fireworks display. Ben might even bring out the potato gun and glow sticks.
I will be in Africa. I thought it might be nice to celebrate with the on-board Americans.
I bought candy today. After talking to the ship academy teacher we thought it might be fun to have s ship parade. The kids could dress up and hand out candy. It would be fun for them and fun for us. An African independence parade.
But we are not allowed too. I’m not really sure why. But I am a little sad. I want to be culturally sensitive but I don’t see the harm in a small parade.
Red and blue are two different colors. Not better or worse, just different. Red looks nice on lips. Blue looks nice on jeans. Red jeans look silly. Blue lips look kind of scary.
Everyone aboard the ship shares the thread of humanity. But we are all different. Not better or worse, just different. And it’s okay to recognize that. I appreciate they way red looks on lips and blue on jeans. I appreciate the strengths of the different cultures around me. The diversity makes us better equipped.
But I do think it possible to appreciate the differences around me without forgetting who I am.
I am an American girl. I am proud of that. It’s not a negative statement. It’s not an agenda.
It is who I am.
So I am a little sad that we can’t have our parade.