Earlier this week, one of the kids at the homeless shelter kindergarten where I sometimes teach saw a picture of Barack Obama in my newspaper and affectionately called out “Uncle Justin!”

I tried to tell him it was our new president. He stared at me blankly. Another teacher, finding the conversation irresistible, came over and tried to explain that this person was “very important” — yeah, we both got stared at then. The other teacher said, “he’s very special.”

“Uncle Justin is special” — the child beamed. “Yes, he is,” I said. All three of us were very happy.