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?