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Brother Fans. Day 501.

“I see him walking around!” Baylee said.

“No, he just took his break,” said Max.

Max, Baylee, the dogs, and I were sitting on the back deck, listening to quiet music and waiting for Sammy to complete his test. We stayed out there so the house would remain peaceful and quiet as the hours trickled by, and we were not listening to the Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack because it didn’t work last time.

Sam just finished his North Carolina Real Estate Pre-licensing class, and it was testing day. Days before, he tested and missed it by one question so this was his last chance or he would have to retake it. He was rightfully nervous and anxious, but he wasn’t alone.

We sat on the back deck wiggling our feet and feeling numb in anticipation. I was texting Tyler back-and-forth because he went through it and was just as concerned about his brother. We waited and waited and waited. Although it was nerve-racking, it was endearing to watch the concern in his brothers’ faces.

Finally from around the corner, Sammy peeked his happy face and shared an unintentional grin, a really big one. I knew instantly he passed. It was like we all passed. His celebration was not solitary, and we all slept well that night.

Sometimes I wonder why my boys are so close. They bicker, yes, but it’s gentle and open. Their transparency with each other warms me, makes me feel like we did something right. They’ve always been close, even before Roger passed, so I can’t attribute it to that.

Why does it matter? Maybe it doesn’t, but I’m curious. Is it because we did a good job parenting them? Is it because of their age difference? Is it because of who they are?

They compete, yes, when they workout, play basketball, and sometimes about their height, but it’s always coupled with smirks and heavy back pats. They razz but it’s always face-to-face. They tease but never behind each other’s backs.

It’s a gift, and I’m grateful.

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