My son is going to a couple of high school junior proms for the first time this February.
Back in June, when his dad and I realized that our teen was moving into his Junior year, we really felt the years were zooming by too quickly. It seemed not so long ago when Santi was barely in his teens and could only reach past our shoulders. These days, he awkwardly stands broad-shouldered and a feet taller than we do.
Over dinner a few months back, when told that a friend’s daughter asked him to be her prom date, Santi quipped, “Do I really have to go?” As soon as he asked, his dad and I knew how our shy and reserved son must’ve felt. Quite anxious, that is, to go out with someone he barely knew.
For most of us, high school often evokes the best memories of how life had been when we were still carefree and naïve—and prom nights often top those recollections. So matter-of-factly, we replied to Santi, “You might regret not going to the prom when you’re older. Proms happen only once in your life.”
The first item on our prom agenda was to get Santi his formal suit. On the first day of the post-holiday sale season, I dragged him to the nearest mall for some shopping. Since all moms know how teenaged boys find fitting clothes very cumbersome, one can imagine the exasperated expression plastered on his face the whole way through.
Still, Santi tried on every suit his younger sister and I excitedly handed him, and after several tries, we settled on one that made him look like the confident young man his father and I hope he will soon be.
Once February was in full swing, the entire family got caught up in a frenzy of pre-prom plans.
“What is the color of your date’s dress?”
“What time are you picking her up?”
“Where are you headed after the prom?”
“Remember to be courteous and say ‘opo’ when you meet her parents, OK?”
My son has been immensely annoyed at all these seemingly trivial matters and reminders we’ve given him since. Add to these, the “prom-posal” our friends said had to be made, where our son would pay a visit to the girl’s parents before the big night.
“Does he need to bring something for her parents?” I had to ask. Suffice to say, my husband and I had no idea about pre-prom etiquette, seeing as a prom is no longer what it used to be.
Thankfully, everything went well at the end of this curious event in our family’s life story. Years from now, I know my memories will include flashbacks of Santi’s first prom, and despite all the surprises sprung, it will be one that we’ll all look back to with fondness.