Everyone has something they believe in. Some are weirder than others.
I grew up in a crazy but not so crazy household. You wouldn't have to sit and wonder why I turned out abnormal if you ever met my parents.
My Dad, I would describe him as the calm and coordinated one, or as coordinated as he can be. Every year, he gets my mum cards for a birthday and we all have to write something special in it.
I don't remember the birthday it was but the words he wrote that particular year are as clear as day in my head.
"Sometimes she shouts, sometimes she nags but she is still the best thing that ever happened to me"
Sweet right?, I know.
My mum didn't think so though. She ended up doing the first thing he wrote in the card.
My mum is another matter. She is well, the not so coordinated one, she makes almost everything work in a disorganized kind of way. To put it short, she is simply the best.
My brothers are the pain in my very existence. I'm pretty sure they were both adopted. I don't have the proof but I've been digging, one day I'm sure I'll find the papers.
Anyway, it's tradition in my family that on each person's birthday, He or she doesn't have to do anything. Not even lift a finger. All you do that day is sleep in, eat, send people to get whatever you want ( this one, my senior brother loves the most, a chance to boss me in particular around).
How this tradition came about?, here the story lies.....
It was one of my favourite days. The last day of exams. I was even more excited because my Grandma's birthday was in three days and we were travelling for it.
Claudia pack your things, your mum is here", my class teacher said.
I didn't need to be told twice, I was already flying out of my sit. I loved to travel for one reason alone. The snacks and food my mum I got to eat during the journey. It just hit differently.
It goes in this sequence, first it's gala, then plantain chips, drinks comes next. My tummy relaxes for a while until we get to the first stop, here my mum buys suya( this is a necessity). We get going and the stop before we reach our final destination I eat real food, jellof rice to be precise. I call it travelling jellof rice.
This journey was no different.
We got to my grandma's house late at night. My big brother was asleep so my Dad carried him. I on the other hand was too excited. Everyone was here. Enough people to play with.
The next day I helped with the arrangements, whatever a seven year old could do I was available. It was going great, canopies were standing, the mothers were busy with cooking, children were doing what we do best, stressing our parents out.
Grandma was going to be the big seven- zero. I can tell you she definitely didn't look her age.
The night before,we were all set for the party.
Finally the day I had been waiting for was here. I was really happy for Grandma, I was, but the real reason for my excitement was all the food I'd eat that day.
Then the worst thing happened, Grandma was sick.
What happened, I thought, she was fine yesterday.
The mood of celebration was lost on everyone. All the effort put into preparation gone.
No one did anything that day. Grandma stayed in bed while people took turns in taking care of her.
She got better eventually.
The celebration was pushed forward and since Grandma was recovering she couldn't really participate.
I sat on my mum's leg while she discussed with her mother.
Two weeks later we went back home. My mum told us that Grandma liked how everyone dotted on her on her birthday and how she didn't have to do anything even though it was because she was sick.
She told my Dad that's how she wants to be treated on her birthday. We thought it wasn't fair, why is it only her that gets the privilege?.
So on that day it was decided that on everyone's birthday, they were to be treated like royalty.
An so the Nelson's tradition was born.