Monday, June 9, 2008

But I'm Not Ready

Friday night our high school held its Senior Prom. It shouldn't have been any concern to me. My oldest is a sophomore. But here comes the glitch. She is dating a senior.

Back in March, when they started hanging out together (it took me awhile to admit to myself they were dating) I worried about two kids in different stages of their lives. He was close to freedom. That magical time after high school when you get to pick for yourself.

She is not even close to that stage. The things she picks for herself are things like when she takes her shower and whether she chooses to do her homework at 3 pm or 11pm. Dad and I still pick curfew times and meal times. She is growing more independent, but she is still living in our house, with two years of high school left, and she is miles away from the independence graduation brings.

So while I was watching them closely, supervising them as much as I could, quizzing him about life goals and morals, this big date was approaching. I never saw it coming.

Until Daughter started saying things like, "what am I going to wear to prom?" and "Prom is going to be so much fun!"

Naive mom that I am I filed those comments under 'regular school dance' comments. It was hubby who pointed out to me that prom is different. Way different. Especially for senior boys who are moving on.

Suddenly I realized there may be expectations and situations that Daughter would not see coming. Even when we talked about it in the days before the dance she rolled her eyes and declared that we "just didn't know how things work today" and "we don't trust her."

And we resisted rolling our eyes back at her and saying, "Ohhh...but we do know, my sweet. We wore tuxes and prom dresses almost two decades ago, but we know..."

We ended our discussion with her on an agree to disagree status. But ultimately Dad and I got to pick curfew and the drivers of any cars she might be riding in.

And it all worked out. Boyfriend looked (and smelled!) stunning, was a perfect gentleman, showed my daughter the time of her life at an over-supervised wing dinger of a dance at the Marriott Hotel. And when I showed up to pick her up at midnight (as her date went on to party with friends) he stepped up and gave me a hug.

"Thanks so much for letting me escort your daughter to my prom."

These were the words he spoke in my ear as we embraced and I patted his back like a mom.

She is my baby girl, my only daughter in this sea of sons. She will always be six in my mind. But that night she was a princess. She was his princess. And he treasured her as such.

I may not be ready for her to grow up but I sure thank God she is doing it so well in spite of me.

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