Two years ago our son went to his first Homecoming dance. Eye opening, because in Texas, it’s not just a dance, it’s an experience. The night isn’t complete without the right outfit, group pictures, chauffeured transportation, dinner, the dance and the real destination…. A fabulous after party.
I still remember how difficult it was to keep my jaw from hanging open in awe when I first saw the group of 14 year old girls, my son and his friends were taking. Typically, these ladies don a t-shirt three sizes too large, shorts you can’t see and plain old sneakers. That night, they were all clad in body hugging dresses that were shorter than anything I have ever worn, 4” heels and more makeup than I wore to my Senior Prom. I put myself in my son’s shoes, and imagined how tough it would be to be a teenaged boy in this town, especially dance night.
After three girls teetered and fell on their newly acquired stilts, I vowed then and there that MY daughter would never dress like that when she went to her first Homecoming dance. Two girls in the group had lower heels and flowing skirts. I snapped a photo on my iPhone and went straight home to show my daughter what she would be allowed to wear in her future.
At 11 ½, she was on-board with the preferred dress code. To my pleasure, she remained so until about a month away from her own first formal dance at the high school. Peer influence and immediate feedback on social media made flowing skirts and shorter heels leave the shopping cart only to be replaced with tighter, shorter garments.
Preparing a girl for her first Homecoming dance was a new experience. Finding that middle ground where we could both happy seemed futile. She wants a spray tan, but I am adamantly opposed because of all the chemicals. She wants a mini skirt, I want fingertip length. She wants shoes with 4” heels, I want 2” so she can actually walk in them.
It occurs to me on Sunday morning after, as I pick the discarded dress up off the floor from its brief foray into nightlife, that we compromised where we could. She chose a body-con dress with a peplum and tighter skirt. We found an organic natural spray-tan formula and I got to do her hair at home. She actually let me make her jewelry, and she liked it.
Well after noon, my freshly awakened 14 year old emerges from her bedroom. Clutching her phone, she immediately requests to see my pictures, demanding I email her favorites to put on Instagram. I smile, say good morning and give her a big hug. “Have fun?” I ask? A with sleepy nod and a yawn she answers casually “Yes, but I was a little uncomfortable with the skirt. Next time, I won’t get one so tight.”
I hide my smile and hope next time….we can eliminate the spray tan too.
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