Saturday, June 11, 2005

Prom Mom

Prom Dan and Mom
Originally uploaded by Broussardish.
As a maturing parent, facing "phase three," i.e. the prospect of adult children, I've come to realize that kids owe their parents a few things. They owe some modicum of respect amidst the sheer emotional and physical chaos of growing up. They must provide at least one real moment of eye contact and mind meld each year, so that the parents can know that, deep inside, the kids are all right. And the kids must eventually leave home and not come back without grandkids. Jemi expects a bit more than this. When Daniel and his girlfriend, Lauren, split up in the waning months of senior year, she felt personally robbed of one of her expectations: prom photos. Turns out Daniel and a number of other eligible seniors were going solo. In Jemi's day, many suffered though less-than-ideal dates to the prom or even experienced the ignominy of getting "fixed up" for propriety's sake, so this concept took a while to soak in. He made things worse by implying he might attend the prom in one of his band disguises (he has a group called "Mystery Flavor" that plays funky music in hot pants, for instance) but Jemi tripped him into at least getting a tux. Soon Daniel's love of wardrobe kicked in and he found one he liked. Prom day arrived and we went to a friend's house where the backyard was in bloom and the kids could pair off in the sun and be admired by all the parents. They indulged us. We embarrassed them. And although we didn't get a picture of Daniel with a beautiful girl on his arm to post on the eternal refrigerator, I did get this shot of him with the woman he loves.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Bright and Beautiful

Prom Pix 1
Originally uploaded by Broussardish.
Dan and his friends pose on Prom Day, June 2005. You know, they probably don't have a clue just how beautiful they really are. I never made it to my senior year in H.S. so I never had to deal with the prom thing at all (I'd have probably sat it out), but the prom ritual became clearer to me having witnessed it through my son. It's really phase one of a two-part coming of age drama. The prom is where the kids stay out late (or all night, in our case) doing God knows what, so the white-knuckled parents pretty much have to say, "I've done all the moralizing I can do for them. They are now morally independent units." The next phase is graduation where the parents have to say, "I've done all the homework and schooling I can do for them. They are now intellectually independent units." Of course, deep down, you never let go, but these rituals take a little bit of the pressure off. I suppose the final phase is graduation from college when the parents say, "I've spent enough on the little ingrates. They are now economically independent units." I can dream, right?