November Prompt: Celebrate
When people think of celebrations, they think of balloons, cake, party hats (if you’re part of Michael’s family, there are ALWAYS party hats). Our biggest celebration came without a hat, without even spoken congratulations. But it will, for the rest of my life, remain the largest celebration I have ever been privy to.
“Ben!” Michael flung open the door quickly, letting it slam behind him. “Where’s Hunter?” he literally gasped for breath.
I laughed softly, looking up from my spot on the couch, marking my place in my book and turned around to face him. “He’s working on a project with a few kids in his history class. Something about Marx, I believe..?”
He waved an envelope around excitedly and I smiled widely. Being a part of Michael’s life was more than I could ever have imagined. He was so animated, so chocked full of emotions, so … alive. He made me feel the same way.
“What is it?” I said, finally standing up.
“A letter, for Hunter,” he panted out. “I think we should open it.”
He looked so genuinely surprised I would say anything about him wanting to open Hunter’s mail, that I could find it nothing but adorable. “We can’t violate his privacy, Michael!”
“But this is important.” His voice raised just a few octaves. I sometimes forget Debby is his mother, until moments like these.
“What is it?” I asked, again.
“It’s from Columbia!”
My heart started beating rapidly. Hunter, Michael, and I spent what seemed like days filling out applications for college. It was a stretch to think we could convince Michael to even let him stay somewhere on campus if he went to Carnegie Mellon. So, Hunter and I felt it was a huge accomplishment that Michael finally relented to and let him apply at Columbia in Chicago. They had a great film and production program. And Hunter had finally found his passion, behind a camera. I thought it was important that we let him pursue those passions with as much abandon as possible.
The front door swung open and we both turned quickly.
Hunter stopped in his tracks. “What, dudes?” He looked at Michael’s flushed face and scanned my face quickly. “I took out the garbage, Jesus.”
Michael pounced, shoving the envelope into Hunter’s hands. “Open it!”
“What the fuck, Michael.” Hunter dropped his bag. “I can’t even come insid---” He stopped, looking from the envelope to the both of us.
He opened it quickly, bits of the envelope falling to floor as he ripped into it with no regard. My mind raced as his eyes scanned the paper quickly. Michael started to take a deep breath and I held my hand up, catching his eye. “Michael,” I whispered. He sighed, crossing his arms as we both intently watched Hunter.
He tossed it onto the coffee table and kicked off his shoes, heading directly for the stairs.
“What did it say?” Michael asked, quietly, nervously.
“I got in,” he bounded up the stairs two at a time.
“What?” Michael rushed toward the paper.
“Yup. I’m in. Hope you like Chicago style pizza.” That was all we heard before his door shut, upstairs.
Michael flung himself at me, his arms around my neck. “He got in!”
My arms wrapped around him tightly, as my mind raced. Out of state tuition, travel expenses, we need to find a doctor near the school, I hope he’s going to eat proper, take his medications. But the only thing that really mattered at that moment, was that me and my wonderful husband, were going to be able to celebrate our son going away to college. We were going to share that moment as a family. Years ago, I would have never thought any of this possible. For a number of reasons. I also caught myself smiling. Because I was also going to see Deb and Michael try to make Hunter wear a party hat. This was going to be good.