Chapter no 122 – ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Pictures‌


Afterward there was a reception for the fifth and sixth graders under a huge white tent in the back of the school. All the kids found their parents, and I didn’t mind at all when Mom and Dad hugged me like crazy, or when Via wrapped her arms around me and swung me left and right about twenty times. Then Poppa and Tata hugged me, and Aunt Kate and Uncle Po, and Uncle Ben—everyone kind of teary-eyed and wet-cheeked. But Miranda was the funniest: she was crying more than anyone and squeezed me so tight that Via had to practically pry her off of me, which made them both laugh.

Everyone started taking pictures of me and pulling out their Flips, and then Dad got me, Summer, and Jack together for a group shot. We put our arms around each other’s shoulders, and for the first time I can remember, I wasn’t even thinking about my face. I was just smiling a big fat happy smile for all the different cameras clicking away at me. Flash, flash, click, click: smiling away as Jack’s parents and Summer’s mom started clicking. Then Reid and Maya came over. Flash, flash, click, click. And then Charlotte came over and asked if she could take a picture with us, and we were like, “Sure, of course!” And then Charlotte’s parents were snapping away at our little group along with everyone else’s parents.

And the next thing I knew, the two Maxes had come over, and Henry and Miles, and Savanna. Then Amos came over, and Ximena. And we were all in this big tight huddle as parents clicked away like we were on a red carpet somewhere. Luca. Isaiah. Nino. Pablo. Tristan. Ellie. I lost track of who else came over. Everybody, practically. All I knew for sure is that we were all laughing and squeezing in tight against each other, and no one seemed to care if it was my face that was next to theirs or not. In fact, and I don’t mean to brag here, but it kind of felt like everyone wanted to get close to me.

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