Lucy was in 4th grade and Jonathan was in 1st when I started homeschooling them.
Believe it or not, even back then, when people found out we were homeschooling them and that we intended to do so for as long as necessary, some would very sincerely ask:
"What about prom?"
Yes. They did. I don't think it ever crossed any of the nay-sayers minds that perhaps my children would grow up more secure and comfortable in their own skin by not having to negotiate the battlefield of what currently passes for public school education.
I think back to my own high school years and I remember the proms I attended. I remember being scared and excited and yet, feeling incredibly awkward. I had never dressed up in a formal gown. I had never been given a corsage or had pinned on a boutonniere. (Nobody teaches you this stuff, do they?)
I look back at my prom photos today and I see myself in satin formal wear and gloves (gloves!) and I think, "Wow, we both look supremely uncomfortable."
Me & my date, Terry B. - (I had never seen an orchid up close and personal before this moment.) May 1971.
In the formal portrait we are positioned in the classic pose that I'm pretty sure is called: "Awkward Prom Pose #1. (You want him to put his hands where?? No. I obviously wasn't breathing here and to top it off, I forgot my gloves. I had gloves, people!)
How were my poor homeschooled kids (which I was already so obviously depriving of a normal life and education) going to be able to function in the "real" world, and how would they be able to survive in that world if I kept them from experiencing the joys of promenading in formal attire?
Well, for those of you that may be worried about the socialization of my children and how that would play out if they didn't get to go to prom, you can rest easy. The independent learning high school that Lucy attends sponsors a prom each year. (You may now breath a collective sigh of relief.)
- It's a lovely event held at the Disneyland Hotel. (Win!)
- I didn't make her wear gloves (gloves!) like my mother made me back in 1971, so her wrist corsage was easier to put on.
- And yes, I taught her how to pin on the boutonniere. (Hello...Homeschooling Mom! I teach stuff! =D)
Lucy looked lovely. Her not-boyfriend (He's a boy. He's her friend. He's not her boyfriend. Shut up.), Matt (who was also homeschooled, but that's not important right now) looked extremely dapper in his tux.
She wore her favorite footwear and, unlike many of the other girls who got brand-new-trendy-yet-painful-prom shoes and had already taken them off before the dance began, she was comfortable in her shoes the entire night. (Win!)
I'm glad she got to go to prom. Not because I believe in the sacredness of the ritual, but because I love so much that both of them had such fun together and were obviously so very much at ease.
Let me turn your attention to Exhibit A:
"Those kids look so relaxed together and they're wearing fake mustaches. EPIC WIN!"
And that, my friends, explains the difference between promenading as an awkward teenager and promenading as a secure teenager with someone who is a good friend. These two are are obviously very comfortable in their own skins.
(But now I'm thinking she might have liked some gloves. =D)
Today's lesson in homeschooling is complete. ;-)