I don’t know that I was what you would consider a ‘girly-girl’, but I definitely looked forward to attending my junior prom. I wanted to get dressed up, and to see my friends dressed up. I was eager to see who might win Prom King and Queen, and who was going where afterwards. I was the oldest grandchild and my grandfather started his tradition of buying the granddaughters their prom gowns the year I attended my prom.
I remember buying that red dress, borrowing the shoes, and doing my own hair. I think my dress cost $99 and that was the only expense I had. I don’t really recall much else about the whole thing. I don’t know what I ate, I don’t know who danced with whom, I don’t know who sat at my table. But I remember the spark in the air of the whole night. It was glittery, sparkly, magical and everything I’d hoped it would be.
When I had a daughter, the prom eventually crossed my mind. I had as much fun watching Abby attend prom as I had at my own. Dresses were more expensive and girls no longer did their own hair, but the feel was the same. In our town all of the kids meet at our library, slip in the back door and the crowd gathers in front at the bottom of the staircase. Couple by couple they are announced and come down those stairs for everyone to oooh and aaaaah at the gorgeous girls in their dresses and the handsome guys in their tuxes.
Abby attended again the following year and it was just as much fun for me. I love the whole idea of it, seeing these kids who are typically in jeans and ponytails all glamorous for the night. I can see the magic in their eyes and the excitement in their smiles.
When Logan became a freshman it dawned on me..he is in highschool..there will be a prom. At that time I pushed it out of my head. Why worry, its so far away. Sophomore year I realized we’d become a year closer to this and I started to wonder about it. Would he go? Who would he go with? Why worry..its a year away.
This year, his junior year. Prom year. Here we go. No more pushing it out of my mind, time to figure stuff out. Okay, I will….I promised myself. But I didn’t. I procrastinated, and went back and forth with the idea. We made a couple of tentative plans and they fell through. I stressed over it, I beat myself up over it. He couldn’t miss this night, this milestone, this tradition. I was asking him if he wanted to go, and he would just shrug. He could go with buddies, but part of the fun is having the girl in the pretty dress by your side, and I wanted the whole shebang for him. I wanted him to have the full experience, considering this might be the only prom he attends.
After multiple conversations with Abby about what to do, she called me and simply said “Kevin bought me a flight home. Pick out a dress that Logan likes, I am taking him to prom.” A weight lifted off of my shoulders as I said that out loud.
Logan. Is. Going. To. Prom.
I know it seems like a small, insignificant thing to some people. Some people don’t care about the prom either way. But for me, it means everything. It symbolizes so much. It was the first time I looked at my date, who would later be my husband and the father to my children, and felt love for him. It was the first time I got to feel like a princess, and the first time I got to help my daughter to feel like a princess. It is a rite of passage, a small town tradition, a coming of age type of thing that is special to us.
I don’t care if he owns the dance floor. I don’t care if he doesn’t understand what a Prom King is. I don’t care if he spills his drink down the front of his rented tux. My kid. Is going to PROM.