Double Close

Andrew and I at his graduation.

Andrew and I at his graduation.

It’s another Thursday and I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and other wonderful writers for Five-Minute Friday. Our prompt this week is CLOSE. If you’d like to join the fun, find out how at Lisa-Jo’s blog.

This week has been hectic and crazy and has driven me right over that cliff of no sleep because of too much to do and think about. It’s been sad and joyous and just plain nutty. I’ve been divided in my focus (including in writing this supposed-to-be-five-minute-prompt-but-the-mom-in-this-house-never-gets-five-minutes-undisturbed) all week long.

And I wouldn’t trade it.

We are three days to graduation with a special high school class of which I’m the staff sponsor and commencement speaker. My daughter is home from college for just this week before she leaves for her summer job. Final tests are happening both in classes I teach and classes my middle daughter is in. My son just graduated 8th grade and is heading on to high school.

That’s my week, and I’m happy. Tired, but happy.

My children have shared closeness this week that a few years ago I never thought we’d reach. They argue, loudly at times, laughingly, most of the time, and checking to see if I’m watching, too often for comfort.

Karina, Andrew and Larissa

Karina, Andrew and Larissa

But they gravitate toward each other.

They sit beside each other griping about not enough space but no one moves. They sing together while beating on the djembe, often on key, sometimes with wonderful harmony and sometimes so deliberately off-key as to make my brain curl into itself in denial. The other night the girls hit notes so high and with so much laughter while pounding the notes on the piano that I didn’t think they’d have vocal chords left for the next day. I was wrong.

They are close. They care and they’re not afraid to show it. Of course, they annoy each other and they’re not afraid to show that either. But I LOVE that they’re close.

Not afraid to show their love for each other...

Not afraid to show their love for each other…

Last night my son graduated and there were so many nights where we chose to not even entertain thoughts of him making it to 8th grade, because that Leukemia had hit him so hard (at age four) and so fast, we didn’t know if he even had a future, let alone what it looked like. Touch and go nights. Nights where we came close to losing him. Last night was not one of those: last night we got to celebrate.

Upstaging the graduate

Upstaging the graduate

And in the midst of that gymnasium teaming with jubilant families posing for graduation photos, my three stood together, talking and laughing and waiting for mom’s tears to flow. I hid the moisture, but my three crazy kids still caught me, snapping pictures to see if they could document my tears. In my family, it’s not hard to catch mom crying.

But last night, as I watched my kids huddle close, we celebrated more than 8th grade graduation. We celebrated the future we came close to losing and we celebrated the beauty of a close and loving family.

Framing the graduate

Framing the graduate

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