By Mike Wilcox
I tip my ball cap to my son Jordan, who will graduate cum laude from Livonia Stevenson High School this week.
Jordan grew up in the newspaper business, having tagged along with me on many an assignment. He’s an expert photographer, but more importantly he keeps our newspapers in working order as our IT guy.
Whether it be in Saugatuck or LaFayette, Ala,, Jordan’s available to walk us through any IT issue we might have. My main computer in Clare, which I access remotely no matter where I am, was built from scratch by him when he was 12 years old.
That seems like yesterday. The day he was born, 17 days before 9-11, seems like last month. It’s hard for me to fathom the youngster who spent more time reading mechanical manuals than playing outside, is now almost a full-blown adult ready to tackle new challenges as he enters college this fall.
Like all parents, I have many vivid memories of my child’s formative years. Jordan was never an athlete, so when his wooden car won the Pinewood Derby he was a sight to behold. I couldn’t have been prouder — except for a few weeks ago when he stood on the stage, accepting academic awards from his principal.
Jordan and I have always had a bond. We take in most of the latest movies. We go out to eat often, enjoying rhubarb pie for breakfast and alfredo pizza for dinner.
We like exploring in our vehicle, and have probably been through 80 percent of the towns in Michigan. One of our favorite places is Hell, where Jordan was crowned its unofficial historian because his great-great-great grandfather named the hamlet. My son can recite more about the history of Hell, Mich., than even the mayor.
He’s my son and best buddy. Jordan puts up with my impatience and quick temper. He sits and watches football and basketball games with me, even though he couldn’t care less about their outcomes. He’s a joy to be around because he never judges and realizes we all have our bad moments. I wish I could be more like him.
As we in the newspaper business put our graduation sections to bed, I would like to congratulate all the graduates, high school and college, who have steered successfully through the myriad classes needed to earn their diploma. I know it hasn’t been easy, but that makes that accomplishment all the better.
Whatever your next challenge is — more education, a job, etc. — move forward with confidence and a zest for life. Enjoy your young adult years. They have provided me with some of my best memories, and I suspect they will do the same for you.