was the question that kept popping into my thinking as I awaited the 250 8th grade graduates.
I had my camera poised and ready to shoot the passing quick glance I would have when my nephew, Andrew John, walked down the center aisle.
And then I began to look over the program….
It was an amazing glance into the diversity that surrounded Andrew every day from 4th to 8th grade….
There are the Erica’s and Madison’s and Noah’s and Samanthas…
There are the Yohana’s and Joniqua’s and Sherard’s….
There are the Jahils and Asha’s and Kemekko and Sopuluchukwn….
I think you get my drift. There is more diversity in this public school in Oak Park than any Christian school I attended. Of course they don’t all look alike….there is amazing variety in this group of kids….amazing attributes, I am sure, that sets them apart.
But soon my mind drifted away from the 248 I could only wonder about and focused in on the 1 I know for sure.
My nephew, oldest son of my brother Nick and sister-in-law Jonna graduated tonight in Oak Park. I find myself a bit emotional as I watch “my kids” don the cap and gown and close the book on one chapter of life. And yet Andrew, in his poised and calm fashion, celebrated his graduation with a classy fashion.
He looked so grown up as he wore his shirt and tie…
He was so thankful when he opened his card….
He was thoughtful as he shared about his school and what we might expect in the graduation ceremony…
He was proud as he shared his grades and the results of his hard work….
Andrew, in your class you were one of 249 and tonight when they called your name, I could have out hooted and hollered all of them. But I know you are not the type of kid that would enjoy the spot light shining on only you. And so I refrained….
But please know that you are making your aunt very proud. With your kind heart, witty humor, sensitive spirit and incredible intelligence, I believe you will do well in High School. But, doing well in High School is not only about the grades….it is about living life to the fullest and choosing to support others in your pathway every day!
Carry on my dear nephew, and know that I will be a listening ear for you, a hooting and hollering cheerleader, a prayer warrior and a friend!