Those gorgeous kiddos are my oldest children, all dressed up for Seth's first prom. In so many ways it was a milestone for them and I'm enjoying the memories:
Seth's willingness to wear a suit--it was the first time since he was about four that he didn't whine about tucking in his shirt. He and I picked the suit out, and he paid for most of it himself. He also escorted a young woman to prom and insisted on paying for everything, though they were going as friends, not as a "date." Seth stepped out of his shyness and determined to show the girl a good time, even though it meant doing things he thought he didn't like--like dancing. I was proud of his determination to put her needs before his comfort zone and the selfless way he spent his own money on her tickets, corsage, and pictures, though it meant giving up several weeks pay. I also loved the way his character, wisdom, and self-confidence showed. He knew a lot of guys would rent tuxes, but told me that he thought it was silly to spend that much on something he'd only wear once. He chose instead to invest in his future by buying a nice suit that he could wear again. He found a beautiful, name-brand suit at a wonderful price and picked a red tie to match the girl's dress. His logic and frugality reminded me of his dad, and I was proud of him.
Sarah's delight in the whole thing--it was the first time she had an escort to the prom who wasn't related to her. (Her sweet daddy took her the first year.) Her escort was a true gentleman. Though they had chosen to go to the prom as friends, he wouldn't hear of going dutch and instead generously bought Sarah's prom ticket and a beautiful corsage, as well as paying for their transportation in a chartered vehicle. It was Sarah's first taste of this world, and the young man did it up right, making her feel like a princess. She proudly wore the dress she and her dad picked out at a fund raiser for the Children's Hospital. People from all over the metro area donated prom dresses--over 2,000 of them--and sold them to high schoolers for prom. I had planned to take Sarah to shop, but was sick that day. It turned out to be a special time for Sarah and her dad, and both of them came home glowing. Sarah found a beautiful dress at a more than reasonable price and had the satisfaction of putting her money toward a worthy cause.
The joy of feeling good about the event--the prom was sponsored by our homeschool group, well supervised, and beautifully presented. The kids ate a top-notch catered meal, white tablecloths not withheld, enjoyed a night of dancing (under the careful eyes of parents who insisted upon proper space between partners during slow dances), and then had fun and games at an after prom party. A friend and I talked about how this event differed from the proms of our public high school days, when many of the teens spent their prom nights chasing after less wholesome activities. I felt intense gratitude to the umbrella school and the parent volunteers who did what they could to offer my children such a delightful experience, and to give me peace of mind. I didn't worry about them a single minute, just watched them shine and beamed along with them.