A few thoughts on the high school dance

Becca. Homecoming 2013.

Becca. Homecoming 2013.

Our high school's homecoming was this past weekend. Just between you and me, I've come to partially loathe homecoming (well, all school dances really). I'm happy for my girls to get a new dress, and arrange their hair in all manner of fancy hair fixins', but I can't help but feel that the culture of the school dance harkens back to caveman days -- YOU PRETTY. I DRAG YOU BACK TO MY CAVE BY HAIR. 

This is not going to be some feminist rant, so everyone just calm down. The boys certainly aren't responsible. And really, to source out the causes of the boy-ask-girl dance culture would take far longer than a fleeting blog post. I just want to acknowledge the inherent difficulty in raising strong, independent girls who don't base their self-worth on physical attributes or male appreciation in the face of a tradition that is, in part at least, based on both of those things.

And another thing. Have you ever tried finding a somewhat modest dress for a tall, lanky girl who is 83% legs? Tis exceedingly difficult.

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I have mixed feelings about the high school dance myself. For me, it was misery and joy (well, joy might be a tad strong), confinement and freedom, insecurity and acknowledgement -- all wrapped up into a teenage ball of writhing confusion. For my own kids, I have this burning desire to throw aside confusion, to make their lives shiny and warm -- to march them down a path where they are always successful and everyone loves and appreciates them. And boy howdy, the high school dance does not meet my confusion-free criteria.

And maybe that's the take-away. 

The older my kids get the more I realize that I can't shield them from the indignities of life, or disappointments, or even meanie-gut kids. I can only do my best to buoy them up on the home front. To teach them right from wrong. To love them like they are meant to be loved. 

And, for those of you wondering, Becca said homecoming was "really fun."  

What about you? Do you remember your high school dances fondly? Or with horror?