I find myself at the edge of tears sometimes when I look at these pictures.

I was in 7th grade when our public school system in Manassas, Virginia, became racially integrated. In the following photo, one’s eye immediately jumps to the little boy. But I find myself staring at the older fellow on the left, who fully grasps what is happening.

And now these pictures of Barack and his grandparents. Ta-Nehesi Coates got it so right:

I was struck by the fact that they had made the decision to love their daughter, no matter what, and love their grandson, no matter what. I’d bet money that they never even thought of themselves as courageous, that they didn’t give much thought to the broader struggles in the the world at the time. They were just doing what right, honorable people do.

I mean, this is an American family, just like so many others. And yet in the simplest of ways, the oldest of ways, the most American of ways — by loving their children, praising them, bringing them up to believe they can accomplish anything they set their minds to — they have led us all to the eve of an astonishing moment in history.