Prom happened this weekend.
There are a few important mother/child interactions that I feel comfortable with, competent even. I feel pretty good about helping proofread an English paper or scholarship application. I enjoy talking with my kids about friends, and life experiences, and dating. I can remember being a senior in high school and am happy to share my wisdom (such as it is). But prom? I feel completely at sea amongst the rhinestones and fancy hair and glittery nails.
It's not that I'm against the frou-frou. Not at all. I'm frankly amazed at women with the motivation and skill to carefully coordinate accessories and shoes and handbags. And I bet those women make awesome prom moms because they KNOW something about all of this fanciness. Me? I'm merely guessing. When it comes to prom, here's what I try to do for my girls: 1. Let them know I'm excited for them. 2. Support them by listening to what they envision in terms of dress, shoes, hair. 3. Follow them around and pay for stuff.
I guess mostly I don't want to force my own predilections on my kids. And, obviously, you can't show up to prom in a t-shirt and jeans. It's just not done. So, I do my best impression of a sparkly mom. I even went to Charming Charlie's and thoroughly investigated the entire fake diamond/silver section. That's love baby, because costume jewelry is about 1, 637 steps down on my personal priority list.
And, as promised, the dress:
Maddie had a great time at prom. There was a lengthy gathering wherein all of the parents played overly-excited paparazzi. There was a white Hummer limo. There was a fine dinner. There was dancing. And there was an after-party that lasted until 5 AM. While she enjoyed the dressing up and the fanfare, she seemed even more engaged with the people, enjoying her friends and their last grand hurrah.
In the flurry of all of the preparations, I tried my best to live the prom moment, to remember my willful, blue-eyed toddler now changed into this silvery butterfly. But, quite frankly, living the moment is difficult. First of all, it's hard to help with the jewelry, and carry the clutch, and manage the manual camera settings AND live the moment. And really, the moment, as it stands, is a little much to bear. The prom moment screams so loudly, "LOOK AT ME. I'M ALL GROWN UP." And I look, I do. But then I have to turn away and shield myself a little from the glaring truth. That she's all grown up.
And then I curse prom and go home to chocolate doughnuts and The West Wing, which are my only true friends at the moment.
Time recently published a 1979 prom picture of President Obama, along with a note he wrote to his date. I'm not sure where my prom date is, but I am sure he's not holding high public office. Darn.