Gratitude 


I’m tired. I’ve had a really emotional day today, lots of ups and downs. I watched a young man I love very much graduate from high school today. I met this boy when he was a toddler and he couldn’t even speak English. I cried happy tears as I watched him walk. His tiny body tense, his shoulders thrown back, hands opening and closing reflexively as he inched his way in line to receive his diploma and shake hands with the principal.
He was scared but he did it. He sat there beforehand and listened to all the speakers politely, barely fidgeting and trying to look all grown up. My heart burst with love for this complicated boy and pride in him and his Mama and Papa who I have had the pleasure and privilege of calling family for more than half our lives. No one has any real idea what’s in store for this boy. Nothing comes easily to him. He did this though, he did what he needed to do and even full of nerves he got through his graduation ceremony. 
As we all did the hugs and “I love yous” and “See you soon I mean its!” I smiled and, not for the first time, thanked my lucky stars that this crazy new kid hippie chick sat down next to me in the commons and told me a story those many years ago. We all grew up together, raised our kids together, fought and cried and laughed and taught and learned and talked and sat in silence and listened to music and argued about it on occasion too. We’ve shared our hopes and our dreams and our failures and our accomplishments. We’ve bragged about our children and asked for advice and given unsolicited advice on occasion as well. We’ve told our deepest darkest secrets and trusted completely. We stared off into the distance together remembering and trying to forget. 
When we were teenagers we used to fantasize about buying this big house and all of us living there in this commune like place. I know now that it was fear of the future and of losing our way. Over the years we’ve all wandered a little bit and occasionally lost our way but we never dropped that tether. We are linked by our souls and by our love for each other and our children. I know that my best friend would go to the ends of the earth for my child and she knows that I would do the same for hers. She is my warm place, she is in my heart, she has invited me into hers as well and I could not be more grateful. 
Thank you my friend for so much. For trusting me with your children, for loving me even when I’m not that lovable, forgiving me when I make mistakes, forcing me to be accountable when I’m wrong and empowering me when I’m right. You’ve made me a better person and I cannot imagine what my life would’ve been like if I didn’t have you in it in some capacity or another for the last 38 years. 

Congratulations to our sweet, lovable complicated boy for graduating today and congratulations to his amazing parents for getting him there. I love you guys. 
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