Prom

Its prom time.

Item the first: Way back when I was in high school, prom was in the fall, and the thing in the spring was called, simply, ‘Grad’. I went to several proms, all with the King of the Douchebags, except one. Two other girls and I decided to go stag. The insecure girls at that prom did not thank us for that. Apparently, you go with a date. You dance *only* with your date. We were three beautiful pariahs. Oops.

Item the second: I know that not everyone goes. It’s not required. An unscientific survey of my colleagues say that lots don’t go, and they don’t feel like they missed out.

Still…

The past few weeks I’ve been seeing lots of pictures of my friends’ prom-aged kids, kids with whom Child played hockey or attends cadets, dressed up in new suits to match their dates dresses. They are couples, their finery punctuates that. But Connor has never had a partner. His prom experience does not require an elaborate (or super cheesy) prom-posal. He doesn’t have to match his tie to someone’s dream dress. There won’t be any slightly awkward picture of him and his date in my front garden. He bought his ticket on the last possible day, and even then, I don’t think he’s convinced he will enjoy himself. He’s got the ticket out of a sense of obligation, rather than because he’s enthusiastic.

I find this heartbreaking.

I took him to get a suit, and he looked so splendid, and I was sad he didn’t have someone to share that with. I don’t know if it bothers him – he surely wouldn’t tell his mom, of all people, if he did, right?

I don’t want him to feel lonely as he moves through the milestones of his life. These are supposed to be the best days, right? I hope he feels happy with his relationships, regardless of what it looks like to me. I don’t know what to do, though, if he isn’t. And that’s my failure as a mom, I guess.

We talked about how if he wasn’t enjoying himself after dinner, we would come rescue him. He dressed and waited for his friend to pick him up.

A few hours later:

Child: Can I have a bonfire after prom

The post-prom after-afterparty actually happened a week later, but it’s good that he’s gathering his friends to him, and celebrating in his own way.

Remembering back, the prom parties were always awful. The King of the Douchebags (when I went with him) was a giant, insecure ass (which is the kindest thing I have to say about him), so they were never fun. I don’t remember if I went to the post-grad dance party. Maybe that was the bush party when my best friend (who would eventually become Connor’s godfather) left the liquor store bag in the car. I had to have the “being responsible” talk the next day with my parents, when I was the designated driver for his drunk ass. No matter. The people I went to high school with that I still consider friends know my stories, and prom parties are no longer important. We’ve moved on to universities and weddings and jobs and babies, and new friends with different history. Now, we find ourselves at the precipice of our kids’ graduations and the next chapter of their lives. And ours too, I guess.

I hope Child’s friendships are as strong as mine were, and that he finds more sweet than bitter when he looks back.

And just so we don’t get too down, here is a picture of the child looking splendid, as only he can. Love this kid.

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