A couple of weeks ago, I headed to Charlotte, NC for my sister’s wedding. I was excited about the weekend for a few reasons. Of course, I couldn’t wait to see my sister walk down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams but I was even more excited about the chance to spend time with all of my siblings on my father’s side. I had met all but two of them over the years and I’ve spent quite a bit of time with some of them but never all at once. And knowing that I would finally get to meet my two oldest sisters had me counting down the days leading up to the trip.

Quick back story - I was raised by my mother and grandmother. I didn’t meet my father until I was in the 10th grade and our relationship never really flourished, but I’ve grown close to my siblings and always look forward to seeing them. There’s much more to the story but maybe I’ll share it in a separate blog post one day.

Outside of spending time with my sister before she got married and seeing her walk down the aisle on her wedding day, I have to say that my absolute favorite memory from the weekend was the night before the wedding. It all started at the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. Actually, no…it started at the hair salon when my oldest and youngest brothers came to see me there. They walked in together and I screamed! My oldest brother is like a teddy bear. A manly teddy bear, the kind you don’t mess with, but yea - a teddy bear. Anyway, they walked in the door and I couldn’t sit still. I wanted them both beside me and the stupid hair dryer was ruining everything. I couldn’t focus on keeping my head back so that my hair wouldn’t take five hours to dry because I kept popping out to talk to them. Every time one of them moved I was like, “Where are you going? Are you leaving?”

At the rehearsal dinner, stories were shared from childhood. Some of my siblings grew up together so it was nice to hear their funny stories from the past. We wrapped up dinner and all agreed that the night couldn’t end yet, so we decided to go change clothes and meet back up to hang out.

We had so much fun together! Dancing, singing, and rapping [yes, I rap]. It felt so good to be around them, to laugh with them, to get hype with them when our favorite song came on…From Jay-Z to Meek, Frankie Beverly to Fetty, we had a ball!

The weekend was amazing! There’s no other way to describe it. Although I didn’t grow up with them, our bond is strong and I feel equally as blessed to have them as I do to have my younger twin brothers who grew up with me.

Now, for those giving me an extreme side-eye, see here:

My friends and family will attest to the fact that I’ve never been the girl/woman that you can just take anywhere. Everyone knows where to invite me, what I’ll go for, where I won’t be comfortable, etc. but one thing is certain: they know that I love to dance (I think I get it from my mama) and my most enjoyable times doing so are with family and close friends - it’s where I feel safe and unjudged. I never want to get so far removed that I can’t enjoy that type of fun with my family and close friends. I shared these thoughts with a good friend and was reminded to ‘walk with Kings but never lose the common touch.’ Rupert Kipling said it best in his poem ‘If’:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

So if you ever see me, surrounded by the love of those I hold close, dancing my life away, rapping to Jay or belting one of Frankie Beverly’s hits…feel free to join me, judge me, or give me a side-eye if you prefer, but please, please don’t kill my vibe.