The high school Homecoming dance.
Try not to be too jealous.
For the past three years, I have chaperoned Homecoming with Ryan, and it is always an interesting event for me: On the one hand, it is very exciting to have my students meet Ryan. They have heard so much about him, and it is cute how so many of them run up to us and introduce themselves to him. I told them earlier this week that Ry would be with me at the dance, so when a few of the boys saw me standing alone in the hall, they said in a panic, "Mrs. Nielson, where is he?? Didn't he come??" They were very relieved to hear he was standing in the gym, and when they met him, one of them said, "It's the man of the hour!!" and shook his hand with a huge grin. Ry hears so many stories about my students, so it's also fun for him to be able to put names with faces.
The downside to chaperoning Homecoming, however, is it always leaves me truly frightened for my own future children. Oh my! The things the girls wear and the way the kids dance...let's just say it raises a few eyebrows. Apparently, the new style for formal dresses is skin tight and outrageously short. I saw one girl wearing a skin tight black dress which barely covered her butt; but to make matters worse, it was a deep-V in the back, and almost the entirety of her leopard skin print bra was hanging out. Oh but don't worry...she at least took the time to match her stiletto heels with her bra...they were leopard skin too. YIKES!!
At one point, as we were surveying the dance floor, Ryan asked me, "If the parents knew it was like this, do you think they'd let their kids come?"
How will I help my future children make good decisions and remain stable in the midst of the drama of high school? How will I help my teenage daughters see that their value lies in who they are, not what their bodies look like or what type of formal dress they wear? How will I help my teenage boys respect themselves and their girlfriends enough to shun dirty dancing and other accepted but inappropriate behavior?
I know this is about 20 years down the road, but it still scares me!