(Well, okay, that's not entirely true. About the time he graduated, yes I was at camp, but DH was nothing more than a co-worker that came to camp the first day four hours late and wearing dirty shorts. I missed the graduation because it was 5 hours away and I'd have to go there and back the same day. Sorry, Ratboy. I went to your jr. high graduation, and that counts, right?)
Eleven years later, we get to go to another one, and I'm feeling quite old. My eldest nephew (who I will call Fred, as in Right Said) is graduating this weekend. It's on to the next generation now.
Fred was born my first day of high school, and I was such a geek, I calculated just how much older I was than him. (Fourteen years, five months, six days, and a half-an-hour, with an embarrassed headshake.) What can I say, I was excited. We had just become a blended family a few months earlier, and being an aunt was definitely something that wasn't going to be in the cards before that. (Unless Ratboy, who was 11 at the time, was really, really "advanced" for his age.)
And, as I passed down to Larry Potter, I was excitable and extremely aware of just about every situation. Which pretty much translated to me being annoying and super worried I was going to miss something. So when Fred was born, I was all about it.
I used to babysit Fred, and later, his brother Rocky. I used to ask to go over to my step-sister's house to bake cookies with them or give them presents or just bask in their cuteness. On my senior skip day, instead of going somewhere awesome, and possibly illegal, I played mini-golf with the boys.
|Yoohoo, Fred! Over here! Come give your favorite aunt a big smooch!|
In college, Fred came to spend the night with me once every year I was there, starting when he was only four. (As my step-sister said, "Four? He was only four and I let him to college with you?!")
And now, sniff, he's going to college himself.
If any of you were aunts (or uncles) before you had your own kids, you can understand. Fred was a big part of my teenager-y-hood. He and the rest of the nephews and nieces were like my own little observational course in child rearing.
(I used to say that they were good birth control. My other step-sister laughed about this at Easter and said, "If they were such good birth control, then why did you get pregnant 10 minutes after you got married?" Uh....I have no answer.)
The good thing about being the aunt is that since it's not my kid, I can be sliiiiightly inappropriate. For his last birthday, I gave him this book as a present, inscribed with "To my weird nephew [Fred] from his creepy aunt." I also took him and Rocky to their first concert ever, Weird Al, and somehow I don't think either of them have mentioned this to their friends.
I have to come up with a good gift for him. I think he wants money, but since he's going into fire science (he wants to be a fireman) I thought about getting him an assortment of local establishment matches, some charcoal lighter, and some baking soda so he could get in some practice before the fall. Sadly, I think DH is going veto this.
And in preparation for this weekend, I asked Fred's mom, as well as Fred, if I could bring the air horn. I got "No way" and "Yes!!!!!!" respectively. Don't worry, I'm not bringing it.
I downloaded an air horn app on to my phone. It's way classier.
Congratulations to Fred and everyone else graduating this year. May your gymnasiums not get hot and moist, may the speeches be short and not douchy, and may your aunts bring noise-makers and spray-painted bedsheets to the graduation.