Kris and I have been best friends since the 7th grade. She was my matron of honor when I got married. Her daughter, Raechel, was even at the ceremony - in utero! Since she was born, I have considered Raechel to be my niece. She is very special to both Bruce and me - and us to her! So when Rae graduated from high school, we were among the family in attendance at the ceremony.
Bruce and I drove up that morning, arriving in time for a quick lunch at the house. We also "helped" Raechel pick which dress to wear - which really meant just offering input on the two dresses and the state of the weather! Then we packed up and drove over to the Convention Center in two cars. The ceremony was quite nice - it was impressive how well they expedited everything and got the entire class through in plenty of time to re-set for the high school that was using the convention center later that evening.
We had arranged ahead of time to meet by the flag poles outside after the ceremony. We had to wait while Raechel hugged and visited with her friends and fellow classmates - eventually Kevin caught up to her there and got some photos, too! Then we posed for some shots by the flags and amid the lovely flowerbeds outside the Convention Center.
Afterward, we all went out to dinner before Raechel went on to a safe graduation party the school was holding. The five of us were crammed in Kris' husband Kevin's car - the three girls were in the back with the skinny graduate in the middle. Rae was wearing her cords (Latin society, Global Studies Academy) and her mortarboard. She kept swatting Kris with her Class of 2010 tassel. The following conversation ensued.
Kris: She's tassling me! She keeps hassling me with her tassel.
Katy: If she had a bunch of them, she could hassle you with a passel of tassels.
Kris: Hey, Raechel, I'll wrastle you for the passel of tassels.
Katy: Winner gets a castle.
Kris: You could be my vassal.
Raechel (who had realized that, counting the tassels on her cords as well as the one on her mortarboard, she actually had a passel of tassels): I won't be your vassal! I have won the castle for hassling you with the passel of tassels!
At which point we all started laughing so hard we could not breathe and tears were running down our faces - while Kevin and Bruce, in the front seats, were busy thinking we were awfully strange!
We went on to have a great dinner at a Greek restaurant and then headed back to the house. Rae went to her party and the adults pretty much crashed on the couch for the evening. We spent the night and got to congratulate Raechel again in the morning - when she came back from her all-night party! - before we headed back to NC shortly after lunch.
Even though it was a short trip, we were so glad to be able to go and support our dear niece on her big day!