So I went on a walk today with my mother. We were walking in silence and a lot went through my head. Like how much I love my prairie, how nervous I am that I’m going to have to leave it one day. Then I started thinking about my niece and nephew, my nephew in particular because we’re a little bit closer. I was thinking about when he gets to be 18 and is graduating high school. At this school, same one that all three of us kids graduated from, the graduation ceremony is run by the class. Students do the welcome, the class memories speech, the ending, the poem that the English teacher wrote are all done by the students. The Valedictorian and the Salutatorian also do a speech. I started planning out my nephew’s speech when he’s thanking me for all that good advice when he’s Valedictorian or Salutatorian because I’m a little weird like that and I needed some thing to think about. So here’s what I had in my head/hope that I pass on to both kids and my kids and any future nieces and nephews.
Thank you to Aunt Megan for not necessarily telling me, but showing me about what passion, love and helping people really is. Thank you for showing that love for people doesn’t start or end with blood relation, it starts with a seed and extends beyond our back yard. It also extends color, religion and ethnicity. Love knows no bounds. Thank you for showing me that sarcasm and wit are good things that can help you make friends but are dangerous things when used at inappropriate times. I have to admit that I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Thank you for being not just my aunt but my friend, my confidant and my “don’t tell mom and dad” go to. Thank you to you and that sister of yours ratting me out when I was 6 and making me telling mom that I cut my hair on Christmas Day. I still haven’t lived that one down. Probably never will but it lets me know that you are invested in my life. You wouldn’t tell me random things if you didn’t. I’m also counting on that $100 when I get married. Make sure the check’s good.
I remember going to the hospital the day my nephew was born and falling in love with him the second I saw him and watching my brother be a new dad and seeing the excitement and nervousness in my brother (and my sister-in-law) and being excited for him and being nervous myself. I was nervous because I know that being an aunt can be a great responsibility. It still makes me a little nervous because I know those kids look at to me and I don’t want to disappoint or slip up. Six and a half years later I’m nervous still. Can we just see me being a parent? I would be in fear a lot. I also remember thinking when I saw him that I was the aunt that the kids would get into trouble with. I’m still holding true to that. Little unknown fact that when my sister-in-law was pregnant, Bucky Covington was just starting to be played on country radio and he was being played to the point I couldn’t stand him because the western tourist trap I was working at was playing him all the time. It was sickening. I remember being in the pickup with my brother and telling him that if they had a boy and they named him Bucky, I was coming up with a cooler name but if they didn’t I would could him Bucky. They didn’t, I didn’t. I do call him Munchkin though. He likes it. He actually just requested that I call him that instead of being grouped in with his sister and being called a kiddo. The point being that I want to make a difference in these kids’ lives and it scares me that I’ll just be the aunt. I’m working on that.
Let’s just say that if I had to write speeches for high school seniors, I would rock at it. Maybe. It would be entertaining at least.
Have I ever told the story about my graduation and the bet? I think I have. Here it is for good measure. The valedictorian and the girl that read the class poem sat next to each other and made a $2 bet that the other would cry during their speech. The guy valedictorian gets up (with a real flower boutonniere) and starts crying and blames the allergies that he doesn’t have. The girl gets up tells everyone about the bet and he just lost and starts reading and then starts crying. Guy stands up and starts clapping because they both lost. Great story though.
On a different subject I watched “The Great Gatsby” last night. I haven’t read that book. Why haven’t I read that book? I maybe a little obsessed with it now. I have to get this book. I think I’ve looked at it and thought it wasn’t my kind of book, now I’m thinking that I was wrong. I may love it. I must read this. Then. Then I went on GoodReads to add it to my list and saw that most everyone that I have as friends there has it added and read. We didn’t read this book in high school. Isn’t this book supposed to be on high school reading lists everywhere? I had to read stupid Animal Farm. Stupid book about communism.