For the past three weeks you would have thought there was a wedding being planned in the Loy household….but NO, it was just the annual hustle and bustle of preparing for the big Homecoming Dance. Flashback to the 80’s—you get asked to the dance in person or on the phone (landline, mind you); you make plans with one other couple to meet at a house and take pictures in front of the fireplace (family pictures in frames on the mantle), then you go to a cheap place to eat and go to the dance which is located in the school gym (decorated with crepe paper and balloons). So what has happened to this full blown production called the HOMECOMING? I know it isn’t just a So Cal thing because I see Instagram pictures of all my friends and their kids across the nation going through the same thing. Call me crazy, but this is crazy…..and I will admit…..I did have fun. Oh wait, this was my kids’ homecoming…but yes, I did have fun….lots of fun!
It all starts with the ASK. The guys have to do something unique and special (oh please)….but first they have to ask all their friends and other guys if it is politically and socially correct to ask the girl they have chosen. Translation: Drama. Then they get their nerve up and decide on their “Asking” theme. For Noah it was a dance theme since his date is the captain of the dance team. For Micah it was a surfer theme because his date loves the beach. So mom goes out and buys poster board and flowers (note—MOM does the errand) and the boys decorate and write their “ask” question and go figure out the best time to surprise and ask the girl. Lucky for us, they both said YES-- (translation—lots of drama for those boys who get declined or the girls or boys who don’t go or get asked—sad).
Then it is the preparation. First the girls have to shop and find their dress. I am not a mom of a girl (thank you Jesus), but the stories are crazy. Then, once the girls tell the boys the color of the dress, the mom and dad (thank you Greg) go out and get the suit, tie, shirt, socks and more that complement the color of the dress. Then the corsage shopping (my favorite part because I love to custom design something unique for my boys’ dates)….and I love my local country florist.
Check, check and check…. then it is time for the planning of the night itself…the pictures, the dinner, the transportation, the “after” plans. Flashback to the 80’s again—back in the day we talked in person on landline and the parents were involved in the planning. Present day—all the kids do a “group chat” on their phones and the girls make all the plans and the boys tell their parents what is going on. Note--they “tell”-- not ask…what is going to happen. Whoa…slow down. No Micah you will not be going to an “after party” –you are a fifteen year old freshman whose dad is driving you and your date to and from the dance. Whoa….backtrack…..you WILL ask your parents about the plans and they WILL have a say in what will or will not happen. Period. End of discussion. Take it or leave it.
The big day…..phone calls and text messages back and forth between me, the boys, and the moms of their dates. Micah’s group plans change three times (yes, on the day of). We work to finagle getting pictures of Micah and his friends (freshmen awkwardness), then race with Micah and his date to get pictures with Micah and Noah together because Noah is with his huge group of friends at Lake Poway.
The gathering of friends for pictures is always priceless, but this time it was especially sweet. This was Noah’s last homecoming and Micah’s first homecoming and the only formal dance they will ever attend together during high school. With Noah’s friends and parents there were lots of smiles, laughs, but many tears. It was bittersweet. By the time pictures were finished and each boy was off to dinner with his set of friends I was ready to reapply my deodorant and have a stiff drink! Whew… we made it.
As I look at my Facebook and Instagram feed stuffed with smiling teens in their fancy dresses and suits and ties, and the family and friend pictures that show so much sheer joy, I am once again reminded of this precious community that I am blessed to live in. This sweet little town nestled in the hills and twenty minutes for the gorgeous San Diego beaches; this sweet little town where the city councilman is your friend and where you can’t go to the local grocery without running into at least five people you know.
Yes, we had a hectic few weeks, but it was such fun. Another night to remember, another event to add to the memory books, another gift of friends, family, laughter and joy.
I have seven months to start preparing for Senior Prom. God help us all.