Monday, November 09, 2020

A Day to Remember

I will always remember Saturday as a very special day, though not for the reasons you might have imagined. 

A couple of months ago, Eli 19.3 applied to be in a program at the University of Michigan for people who want a minor in writing. It's specifically not creative writing--it's for people who want to write better in their careers. 

Only 25 students a year get accepted into this program. 

Long odds, but Eli was upbeat about it, saying that he could apply two more times in other semesters if he didn't get in this time. 

Friday morning, he called. 

"Hey remember that writing minor? I got in," he said laughing. 

I don't even remember what I said. I was so excited and so happy that I'm sure it was a word salad. And I was surprised, even though I should know better by now. 

Saturday was going to be in the mid-60s and one of the last nice days to hit golf balls before winter hell descends, so I was already planning to go to Ann Arbor to see him. 

When I pulled in, he came out to the car with a huge smile on his face. I could just feel happiness radiating off him. 

We went to the range. I'd been working on my swing one-handed for several months, because my left wrist has been so jacked up, but I was going to to let it fly for the first time. 25 balls with both hands, which is more than I'd hit in total from late-August to now. 

I didn't expect the one-handed swing work to have much of an effect, but I was wrong. 

It was the best range session of my life. A totally controlled swing with a draw on every shot. I couldn't believe it. Eli was watching and just laughing, because it was impossible, and yet it was happening. He hit the ball great, too, and it was so relaxing to be out there together, talking like we always do. He told me about learning how to cook and his classes and everything else under the sun.

On the way back into town, our phones blew up with texts that the election had been called. I told him I wasn't surprised because all kinds of good things happen when we're together. He laughed and said it had always been that way.

We went into downtown Ann Arbor for lunch and sat outside to eat tacos. Everyone was honking their horn, and people were running in the street, dancing and celebrating. One person, in particular, had a boom box and a little pinwheel that he held up as he went by. It was strange and memorable. 

I'm usually tired on the drive back home--it always feels like four hours instead of two--but it wasn't like that this time. 

I don't usually tell Eli I'm proud of him, because I don't want him to feel like I see his life as a contest to please me. I always tell him I'm happy for him instead, and I am, but there is so much pride as well for the person he has always been. 

On Sunday, I picked up the jeans that I'd worn the day before. I hadn't put them in the laundry. I had the strangest sensation that those jeans were covered in happiness from the day before, so I put them on and felt happy all over again. 

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