I am the parent of a high school graduate.
Damn...I feel old. (lol)
My oldest child, Deion, graduated from high school on May 26th. I'd like to thank everybody who commented on my social media pages with well wishes for him. I really do appreciate it.
I would also like to thank all of my family who came to celebrate with us. We had a lot of family that came from out of town to honor Deion. I'm very thankful for that. I was glad my parents and my in-laws, my brother and his family, my cousins as well as all of our family and friends could make it. It was a joyous occasion.
A week before graduation, I told Deion that I wanted him to "savor the moment" of graduation. I wanted him to enjoy it all. I reminded him that you only graduate from high school once...so live it up. I told him about the day that I graduated from high school. It was June 7, 1991. It was a great day. Graduation was cool. But I really didn't cherish it like I should have. I was ready to rush off to college. I appreciate it much more now. But if I could re-live that day, I'd savor everything and cherish some of the people who took that journey with me. I didn't want him to have the same regret that I had.
Deion had a lot to be proud of. Not only did he graduate from one of the best high schools in the county and metro Atlanta, but they accomplished a great deal. They graduated 99% of their senior class, 98% of the students would be headed to college, and they had been awarded over 15 million dollars in college scholarships. Honestly, that doesn't happen at most high schools...nor does it happen at an all black high school (which his was)...but it did. As a class, they have a great deal to be proud of.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank the village that helped my wife and I with Deion. Especially the grandparents. My in-laws, who live 5 minutes from our house, have always been incredible and helpful. I don't know where we would be without them. My parents live in South Carolina but they did a lot for us as well. I remember when Deion was in the 11th grade my mom made a 4 hr drive on a Sunday from South Carolina to our house...just to help Deion study for a test. I had no idea that she was coming. She just popped up at my house. I was shocked. She stayed for 2 hours...then drove back to South Carolina. I wanted her to stay but she said she had to go. While I thought it was crazy to come that far, it spoke volumes about how much she loves him. Deion is the first grandchild on both sides.
I am extremely proud of the kid. I think the some of the fussing that I did over the past 4 years have paid off. LOL.
Here are a few of the thousand pictures that were taken over the weekend...
The graduation was held at the Georgia World Congress Center
Deion with his brothers and his cousins. When I looked at this picture, I realized that we'll be going to high school graduations for the next 10 years. LOL. Deion is the oldest of his siblings and cousins. But it seems like there was a child born on both sides of his family every year after him.
Deion with my niece Taylor.
Party at the crib...we had a graduation party for Deion on Saturday (May 27th). We had about 70 friends and family attend the party. I threw some food on the grill as well
Chillin with my mom
The fam...Kameron (rising sophomore), Brandon (rising 5th grader), Skyler (rising 1st grader), Sherice & me
throwback videos...a few days before graduation, I pulled out some video tapes. The video tapes were labeled "Deion...the early years". I hadn't watched them in over 10 years. So, I decided to watch them. When I saw this little kid, it made me realize how much time had passed. It also reminded me of how this little boy changed my life forever. I watched videos of him when he could barely walk. Then I saw a video of us playing catch in the park. This was when it was just me, him, and Sherice. When I saw that little boy who loved playing catch...I went back to that moment. Although I was watching this video with nobody else in the house, somebody started cutting onions in the room...
you did it...this was my favorite picture that we took. I told him that I loved him and that I was proud of him. I told him that this was the first of many graduations. I hugged him and had a flashback to the day that he was born. The doctor handed him to me and asked me what his name would be. Without hesitation, I said...Deion. Life goes by so fast. But in that one moment...that one embrace...it was August 9, 1999 again.
College awaits in the fall. But right now, the high school graduate has made his father proud.
And old...but that's ok, LOL