This weekend we will celebrate the Independence of Mexico, and I’m happy because this year it actually translates into a long, lovely weekend. Last year it landed inconveniently on a Sunday, so we had to celebrate and then return to school the very next day. It’s always amazing to me that there aren’t laws against such travesties of human justice, but there aren’t, so let’s all just be grateful that time is on our side this year.
I love this holiday because it’s a day where Mexico shows off (more than) a bit. Sure, Mexican celebrations are very often quite colorful and flashy, which is one of the reasons why I live here. But on September 15, right before midnight, she just lets her gorgeous hair down in an avalanche of exuberant noise and splashy fireworks.
Now, if you have young children, “right before midnight” might mean “the celebration in the afternoon at their school”. You may have to tell a perfectly forgivable white lie; that Mexico is closed by 9pm and they have to go to bed. And that’s because otherwise September 16, the real holiday, will be ruined by overtired little persons.
If you DO take your kids to the celebration on the Malecon, just understand that the noise, crowds, and late night might create an overwhelming sensory situation for them, and thus for you as their primary caregivers. But that’s ok, because if it’s going to be one night where Things Get Ugly, it might as well be on such a very special night.
The Mexican people make Mexico. They are the greatest gift of an already fantastic country.
To the people of Mexico and to all of you here reading this: celebrate this delicious, beautiful, friendly, absolutely tenacious nation. Long may she live, and long may I live within her borders. Viva Mexico!
I’m glad to celebrate this country, who has given me so much, and who asks so little in return. Mexico demands a bit of tax, a bit of patience, and quite a lot of red tape. But that’s nothing compared to what this place has given me in return:
- My husband, a son of Mexico and the best guitar player I’ve ever met in real life. He’s the number one reason I couldn’t quite leave all those years ago. Truth be told, I would stay anywhere he was a citizen, but I do believe that Mexico has made him one seriously super human being.
- My children, who are Mexican and proud of it. They were born here, and, when we visit family in Canada, you can certainly tell. They don’t mind hearing a bit of noise and they really do like to make some too.
- Tacos. They have given all of mankind the best food ever. Because of Mexico, we can eat a little piece of heaven right out of our very own hands. And it’s not just tacos. It’s enchiladas. It’s quesadillas. It’s tamales. Shake a stick and you’ll hit somebody’s favorite meal. So be careful with that stick. Mexico, you are delicioso.
Sunsets and beaches – Yes. You can find these in many countries. But will you hear mariachi in the background while you watch a sunset so frightfully golden that you worry you might have accidentally died and gone to heaven? Can you jump into the ocean at midnight and not worry about some kind of cold-related illness?
- People – the great, beautiful, loving, steadfast people of Mexico. These are the people that persevere through war, famine, injustice. They are the people who know when to work, when to rest, and when to party (with all the good food). They are the people who have given me hope for the rest of the world, because they know the value of family and they know how to enjoy this life we all get to live.