Guess what? I’m currently in Pennsylvania because my baby brother, Zachary, graduates from high school today! I’m so proud of him. Of all three of us kids (me, my two-year-younger brother Jordan, and my nine-year-younger brother Zach), Zach had the most tumultuous high school experience. Unlike Jordan and I, who both graduated from the school where we all grew up, Zach came of age right when our family started to fall apart, and our quietest younger brother internalized a lot of it. In fact, I actually forced my parents to make the poor kid repeat his 8th grade year in a private Catholic school, his grades and attitude were so deplorable.
Between seventh and eleventh grades, then, my youngest brother attended four different schools: two middle schools and two high schools. In each one, he had to make friends all over again. This would have crippled me, but Zach seems to have come through it. After his depression was diagnosed and he began treatment before starting school in Pennsylvania, the kid flourished. His last two years of high school, he was making As and Bs instead of Ds and Fs. He was even a star swimmer on his last high school’s swim team: he competed in the state finals!
I am so, so proud that my baby brother was able to push through such a horrible time and end up all right, and I pray that he serves his country with honor as a future sailor in the United States Navy.