Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Homeschoolers CAN Go to Prom

They just have to be invited by a school kid!

Does anyone notice an eerie similarity between this picture and another? Like, same boy, same hair, and same seating position in the van, but also - *gasp* - same shirt, same tie? Let me just begin with a little analogy - there are mothers who go to great lengths for their children's last-minute prom preparations, and then there is me.

Hot-sauce-covered tarantula-eating mom 1
Happy to have even pulled it off mom, 0

Anyhoo, Brady decided he wanted to invite to prom a sweet, lovely grrrl he'd met at our homeschooling conference. And because I have to drag things out of him using crowbars and CIA-sanctioned interrogation techniques (sorry, bad joke), he made this announcement by waking me at 10:45 pm three days before the prom, even though I'd been asking for two weeks if he wanted to go. And because it's good for us to add a little extra challenge at the last minute (but most decidedly not good for my blood pressure), he wanted to ask Amanda, who lives two hours away from us.

These days, I honestly don't know what is standard etiquette as far as the dating thing goes. Are the boys still expected to pay for everything or will the grrl be insulted that she's being treated with out-dated chivalry and she's her own woman, thank you very much? Was it horridly appalling that we asked Amanda's mother to drive her to meet us because we had a 5pm soccer tournament game that could not be missed and there was no way in tarnation we could make the 2-hour round-trip to get her? Is it cringingly shameful (is 'cringingly' a word?) that we met at a family-style restaurant (chosen by other prom-goers), took pictures in their "side room", and got them to the dance an hour late because Brady's scheduled shower at his great-uncle's house took 17 minutes instead of the allotted 3.8 nanoseconds? Oh, and he didn't wear a tux. Please send your thoughts on our poor etiquette to you'

Oh, and please pass the Mother-of-the-Year application.

What made all these faux pas admissible (at least that's what I keep telling myself when I feel the urge to send my 13th email of apology to Amanda's entire family tree), is they are *homeschoolers* and homeschoolers - at least the ones we're tight with - are blessedly open-minded and usually more than willing to break the mold of what "everyone else" expects. They don't miss the forest for the trees, and they embrace every moment for the beauty and connection and experience.

Ya, that sounds good. I'm going with that.

It also helped that a friend told me her husband's prom story... being a rebellious little punk, he wore pajama pants with an out-dated tuxedo jacket, roared up on his motorcycle, yelled something about prom being for losers, and jetted off for a night of who-knows-what in lieu of suffering through the prom. Brady almost wore soccer cleats and shinguards to his prom, but pajama pants? Pish posh.

Alright, enough of my excuses and justifications. (Note to self: shut up and schedule some therapy already).

We arrived at the restaurant to find the other prom-goers had already left for a cruise in their rented limosine, but that was ok - it gave us time to do the requisite photo session without an audience. Aren't they adorable? Here they are before putting on each other's flowers. I have 87 shots of it, but I'll just share this one.

And here is Amanda putting on Brady's boutineire.

I have 126 shots of this, but mostly because it took 862 tries and 3 of us to actually get it pinned on. Isn't she lovely? And look at that hair - *sigh* I think I might cry a little.

Ok, I'm better.

They couldn't stop smiling.

What's really amazing, too, is that Amanda's mom, Diane, is the queen of organizing events for homeschooled teens and for years she has emailed us about all the amazing things they're up to and inviting us to join when we can. We made it to very, very few events because they live so far away, and also because of this recent intrusion into our life called *school*, but the funny thing is she always added this at the end of her emails: "I think Brady and Amanda would get along really well."

Now, whether she meant it as in "attached at the hip 2.7 seconds after being introduced," as was the case, or just as a welcoming gesture to persuade us to venture in for an event or two, I don't know, but at our homeschooling conference in March, I finally took her up on her offer and introduced Brady to Amanda and her group of pals. It was midnight Friday night and Brady's friends had all gone to bed, but he was wide awake and itching for more social time. I found Diane, who was more than willing to invite us into their circles - Brady into Amanda's, and me into the adults' where I got to hang with several workshop leaders - and it was obvious that Brady and Amanda hit it off right away, even making plans to see each other quickly the next day before we all headed for home. (Note to Amanda: Can you make plans to see Brady every morning at, say, 5:50am? Because he shot out of bed right on schedule to meet up with you, but this whole waking up for school thing? Er, not so much.) (Note to Brady: I'm sorry if that embarrassed you.) It's been an Instant-Message frenzy ever since.

When we arrived at the dance, a gaggle of grrrls swarmed Brady, wanting to meet Amanda. My heart lurched for a moment, remembering how hideously mean grrls could be back in my school days (especially when a new grrl moved in on their turf), but my fears were quickly allayed when the grrls gushed over not Brady, but Amanda.

They did, however, have to pretend to be Brady's fan club:

By the end of the night, the lovely Rachel had claimed Amanda as her very own, telling Brady, "Bring her to Keith next year! We love her!"

Amanda's smile just kept getting bigger. Look how lovely she is! She is a delightful grrrl. And this boy? This boy owns my heart.I didn't eat a raw tarantula in hot sauce for Brady, but I did jump into overdrive to make this last-minute prom shindig happen. It may not have been a fairy tale in the traditional sense, but by the looks on their smiling faces, I'd say it turned out absolutely perfect.


denise said...

They both look great. And happy. And relaxed.

You never really remember what you wore as much as who you went with and if you had a good time. And, since they were both still smiling in the 'end' pic, I guess there is the answer! :)

diana(hahamommy) said...

Prom, unschoolin' style, gotta love it! My prom date got my orchid at a local hardware store - Mother's Day special. 5/9/86 - the last four digits of my favorite cousin's phone number. Yes, that is how I remember it! 22 years ago, heh, I'm gonna dig out pictures now...

patti digh said...

I'm pretty sure that qualifies for eating a raw tarantula in hot sauce!

Heather said...

How fun! Your son and Amanda look awesome! I'm glad he went and all went so wonderfully.

Beverly said...

I'm sure Amanda's family is happy that she had a good time, made new friends, and provided them with a neat, tidy answer to the question, "But what about prom?"

debra said...

what a beautiful smile your Brady has! Looks like everyone had a good time.

K. said...

I can't stop smiling, either, just looking at these gorgeous pictures of these gorgeous happy kids.

Way better than my prom, grrl, I think you did just fine on this one.

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