This past weekend, Joe and I took a quick trip back to Flagstaff to see my little sister graduate from high school. We arrived about 11:30 on Friday night, so the fun didn’t start until the next morning (because I can’t actually remember arriving). My parents just bought a hot tub, so Joe and I woke up early as usual to try it out. Everyone soon arrived at our house for peaches and cream french toast – we used a friend’s house to accommodate all the guests. Upon hearing that Kenley was a bit nervous for her graduation, Joe and I set off on a coffee mission to get her out of bed in time for breakfast! Joe then left to go mountain biking with a friend (he came back saying he only went over the handlebars once!) while I had the chance to catch up with my family.
The graduation was held at NAU. Someone from Kenley’s high school, probably someone a bit crazy, once had the bright idea that every single graduate should give a speech. Though her class is extremely small for a high school, I don’t think anyone wants to listen to seventy speeches! Luckily my family came prepared: one aunt whipped out an ebook before the opening remarks began, while another aunt and uncle watched a movie on their iPad with headphones. I, of course, brought a book. The few highlights of the graduation were when one kid threw his hat at the crowd attempting to see how far it would go, another declared he would have been “ripped apart” at public school, and an outgoing kid did a strange dance. I lost count of the number of thank yous I heard; it seemed like everyone in the room and more besides were receiving personal ones! I also quickly grew bored of the “My four years at NPA were like a ____. I had pain and sorrow; joy and laughter…” The comparisons to high school being a “story” with people filling the “pages” were numerous. Kenley was the second-to-last speech. I had helped write her speech, trying to make it funny, personal, and most importantly short. However, when Kenley got up to the mic, she said she knew everyone had been sitting there a long time and promptly turned right back around. She walked straight toward her principal who hadn’t been paying enough attention to have her diploma ready. We cheered hard for that speech!
Afterwards, we had a delicious dinner with family and friends. Joe and I enjoyed playing board games with Kenley and her friends – and the graduate appropriately won every game!
I’m really proud of Kenley for graduating. She “chose” (or was forced into) a more difficult high school path than me. She had to work very hard for her results and took a staggering amount of AP classes. In addition to schoolwork she made some great friends and participated in orchestra (I also had the “privilege” of attending her senior concert). Even though as an older sister I often forget to treat her as such, I know she is growing up to be a beautiful young woman. Her adventures coming up: My aunt is taking her to Greece for a few weeks, and then she’ll work all summer until she goes to NAU!
PS. Happy birthday to my friend Hailey – luckily while I was in Flagstaff I got to stop by and wish her happy birthday!