I am less than 24 hours from getting all my family back in America. My wife’s absence has given me such an appreciation for all she does every day. I’m also incredibly proud of my boys. They rose to all occasions in the absence of their mother and with the “sometime-frustrations” of their ever-present father. I need to work on my patience. I can bask in the glow of a family that truly loves each other to the core. We help each other and sacrifice without complaint (or few complaints).
Tonight, I went to a high school graduation of a former student. I almost never attend these events when invited. Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to go to a high school graduation party of a former student. Next year, I am pretty sure there will be two more that I will go to (if invited).Most of the time it’s a highly awkward moment. But in this case, it’s one of the students that I’m really connected to and very proud of. He was a handful in eighth grade. Heck, he’s a handful as a high schooler. But he is true to himself. And to the core, he’s a really good person.
Life hasn’t always been kind to him. He’s had some ups and downs. But unlike much of society, he hasn’t let those trials define who he is. He’s learned the lessons of those challenges and mistakes. He’s a smart, smart kid and has learned how to cope. Coping mechanisms are something that many people ignore. But fighters learn from their mistakes and develop ways to navigate through really tough times. I’m really proud of who he has become. Heck, I’m thrilled he thought enough of me to ask me to attend his high school graduation party.
What was cool about the evening is seeing other students I haven’t seen in four years. I may not have remembered most of their names, but their faces are pretty well engraved in my memory. It’s so amazing to see how much a person can change from being a young and “innocent” eighth grader to an adult. And the fact that they speak fondly of their time in my classroom really touches my heart. It’s times like this that remind me of how blessed I am. I’ve had such a good life.
Long Lens and Nature
Until Next Time,