By Megan Wirts
My daughter is going to prom. I didn’t think it was going to happen this fast. She’s only a freshman, but she started dating a boy that is a junior and now it’s time for prom. Of course, I thoroughly investigated and met him before we let her even go on her first date. She’s our baby and letting go and allowing her to grow up and be independent is one of the hardest things I have had to do as a mother thus far. I can’t even think about her going away to college in a few years or I will cry for days. Wahhh!
Before she was in highschool my husband and I both said, “No way is she going to prom when she’s only a freshman.” Ha! That’s just one thing we said would “never happen” as parents. Just like when I said my kids would “never drink pop” or “never be embarrassed by me, I’m the cool mom”, never say never friends, she’s going to prom. When she first asked if she could go to prom, my initial thought was “already?!” and “No, not prom!”, but because this boy has proven himself trustworthy and she always has this huge grin on her face when she talks about him, we said yes. Then we got her the dress, the shoes, and the boutonniere has been ordered (kids still do boutonnieres, right?).
I only went to one prom, it was my senior prom and I didn’t have a date. I did go with a big group of friends that did have dates, and my friend Rosali came to my house where we did our hair together in my parents tiny bathroom. I hadn’t thought about prom in 20 years until this year. I don’t remember the theme to my senior prom either, it was probably something like, “A Night to Remember”, which I obviously don’t, or something very promish and very 1999. I do remember that I wore a sparkly blue dress and curled my hair. I danced with one boy to one song that night, the exchange student from Brazil, I don’t remember the song, and I mostly watched my friends dance with their dates. It wasn’t a bad night, but it wasn’t what all those prom movies from the ‘80’s and ‘90’s make prom out to be. It was just ok for me. I’m sure my friends have very different feelings and memories of prom night than I do. It’s all about perspective.
Every stage of life my children enter, it brings me back to my own childhood and adolescence. It makes me wax nostalgic for my youth, along with remembering all the insecurities and fears that filled me up. It has taken me 20 years to let go of some of those insecurities and let go of some of the fear, some still linger. I try very hard not to pass that all on to my children. Instead I try to encourage them to be confident, love themselves and live fearlessly. Like, when my daughter said she was nervous to dance with a boy or infront of people for that matter, I tried to give her a big pep talk about how nobody cares if you look cool while dancing and to just be free and have fun, but she wasn’t really buying it. Then I forced her to dance like a fool, by dancing like a fool myself, in the dressing room at Goodwill to the Taylor Swift song that was playing over the intercom and that seemed to do the trick. She was laughing and dancing, without a care in the world. That’s how I hope her prom night goes.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” ― William W. Purkey
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