I know. I know. I’ve been absent and you’re wondering why. I can explain. I’d love to tell you I’ve done something soulful like walked the Camino Trail or finally got laser treatment to remove those pesky chin hairs but we both know that’s a lie. The truth is I have poured my time as of late into preparing our 18-year old son for graduation prom. I’m just now getting my energy back. It was exhausting and emotional but the highs definitely outweighed the lows.
Oof! Where do I start? I know! Let’s go right back to the first week of school, when Max came home and to my disbelief began talking about prom! As with his older brother, I began to imagine the shopping trips, the spray tan appointments, and the late-night sob fests. Swoon.
He said, “Get this: The girls are shopping for their prom dresses already. It’s like 10 months away! So dope.”
I was like, “Yea, really. Who even wants to spend time at the mall in pretty stores, sipping lattes and drooling over dresses and then going for a yummy lunch and dissecting each and every dress in detail? So stupid.”
Now let’s move to June 1- the next time the topic of prom was broached. On the surface it may look like there was nothing happening between September and June but I can assure you, that’s not the case. I mean, even unfriending people on Facebook who uploaded mother/daughter prom dress shopping selfies is more time- consuming than you can imagine. For the over-posting braggarts, I had to go in and hack their accounts (Oh please. Like you’ve never done it before) and write: Doesn’t my darling Mika look stunning in this $3000 gown?? It almost makes going on food stamps worth it. So blessed!! They deserved it. Then there were the endless nights spent tossing and turning wondering when the right time was to tell our son he might need a haircut before the big night. Let’s just say emotions were raw.
The last two weeks of June are hard for me to write about. I was all over the place emotionally as I tried to piece together the final details. For instance, prom was weeks away and Max hadn’t chosen a tux. I knew from his older brother not to expect much (It took 3 minutes and there were no tears, hugs, or eye contact) so I kept it cool and said, “Hey. I wonder if we should go tux shopping soon. It’s no biggie-only takes like five minutes. Maybe we could grab some wings after. I dunno. (Shrugs shoulders) Whatevs.”
Max: “I picked it out yesterday. I went with the boys (His posse).”
Me: “Ahhh. Well aren’t you an efficient little (miserable dream-crusher) shopper.Wonderful!”
Max: I need 60 bucks for prom tickets.
Me: Oh! Who are you taking to prom??
Max: You don’t know her.
Me: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. You’re tripping over your words! Breathe. I can’t digest all of this information at once. Start at the beginning.
Max: Huh? When’s supper?
And this is just ONE of our many prom-related tete a tetes! My head was spinning. After a few days of meditation and trying to center myself after all the upheaval, I asked Max if he had thought about a corsage. He hadn’t.
Me: I can pick up the corsage for you.
Me: I need to know the style of your date’s dress.
Me: Style, not color. Is it strapless?
Me: I’ll just get a wrist corsage. It’s perfect for any dress style.
Max: When’s supper?
Talk about whirlwind!! I hated myself for wishing it away but I simply couldn’t keep up this pace much longer. Finally after months of planning and dreaming, prom day arrived. I went to work like it was any normal day but I was a bag of nerves wondering if he’d wake up before 2 pm or remember to brush his teeth. I texted him to make sure things were running smoothly:
Me: Are you okay with your bowtie?
Me: Is it pre-tied?
Me: What time are you leaving?
Max: Idk (I don’t know)
Me: Where are you guys going for photos?
Me: Where does she live?
Max: When’s supper?
He seemed confused so I raced home. I walked through the door and what I saw will haunt me until my last breath. There he was fully-clad in his tux eating his fifth hot dog. I’d done seen this a million times: Stuffing yourself with food to dull the emotions. Classic. I swooped in for the mother/son bonding moment I knew was coming.
Me: Do you need to talk? Do you have any questions about stuff we may not have covered? Now is the time.
Max: Do we have any more ketchup?
Wow. He was more vulnerable and walled-up than I thought. I didn’t want any meltdowns at this stage of the game so I kept it all surface-like, just saying things like: “Wipe the crumbs off your tux.” Then he left for photos, without a backward glance…or directions for us.
My husband and I managed to find out where pictures were being taken through our network of friends who had daughters. When we arrived at the sprawling lawn filled with Hollywood-esque adolescent couples dressed in finery I could only afford if I went back to being a stripper, I spotted our handsome son immediately. I perked up when he walked over to us- such a good, sweet boy! Finally, he opened up and said the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard: “I forgot my sneakers for safe grad. Can you go get them?” Yes!!!! He needed me! In yo’ face, mothers of daughters!
I raced home to grab his sneakers (and a pocketful of granola bars to tide him over between the photo shoot and the drive to prom) only to find out the little buggers had re-located (Thanks for the text. Ha!ha!) to a park for a tsunami-drenched photo shoot with teachers, friends and families. We got some gorgeous shots of umbrellas and mud puddles before the starlets dashed to someone’s house to dry off. We, and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’ wanted one decent effing family photo so we (again…I) decided to drive 10 km to the school in the hopes of catching him before he went in to prom. By the time he and his date arrived, my hair was total crap but my dress still rocked it so I pulled Max aside for a few family shots. He got all huffy when I said, “Rest your head on my shoulder for this one, k?” And “Smile with your eyes, sweetie!” Then he mumbled something that sounded a lot like, “Please leave” and walked into the glam-fest. Whatevs.
It’s true he didn’t come right out and say “Thanks for all your emotional instability help, Mom. It means a lot to me.” But I knew by the crumpled tux with the missing bow tie on the floor the next morning that he’d had fun and that’s all that matters. Who cares if we lose our tux damage deposit, am I right? I’d never say it to Max but I’m glad it’s over. As fulfilling as prom planning was, I needed to get off the emotional roller coaster. Plus, I don’t want to seem greedy or anything, but I’ve got to save some energy for hopefully being mother of the groom one day. I hear they get to sit at a special table and get their own corsage!! Swoon.
Here is a photo of Max and his date pretending they can’t hear me yelling, “Wait up, guys!” Sheesh. They can move!