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Archive for April, 2013

A Milestone

Giggles and shrieks, a cloud of perfume, hugs all around.   A statuesque beauty sheathed in peach lace, a classic lass in a column of black, an impish Greek goddess in cream, a curly vision in purple.  Four young women totter on four inch heels, trying not to fall off.  With makeup carefully applied, hair curled and braided, pinned up with a flower, they move joyfully toward the night.

Fist bumps and smiles, a nervous laugh or two.  An intricately tied tie, light  green against a dark gray pinstripe suit, curls under control.  Black tuxedo highlighted by a white tie, another with a baby blue bow tie.   Shoes shined to a gloss.  Three dark-haired young men prepare to take on the role of gentleman of honor.   A young love, a budding romance, a friendly escort for two. Tonight they will shine, tonight they will glow. Tonight they will dance.  Tonight is a milestone. Tonight is Prom.

Although there is a chill in the air it is with good-hearted cheer they pose and smile for us in the late afternoon sunshine as we capture this moment in time.  Picture after picture our shutters memorialize their youth and beauty.  Mothers look at mothers, both pride and sadness in our faces.  Fathers watch the boys, arms folded in warning. They are all so beautiful.  The girls slim and, even in this day and age, surprisingly innocent.  With the bodies of women they are still children, just learning the power that they have.  The boys stand tall and straight.  At 16 and 17 they are but shadows of the men they will become.  If you squint, and then close your eyes, you can see them in the future.  You can see their shoulders broaden, their legs grown even longer. As one places a protective arm around his girl you can see him protecting others.  You can see the kind gentle man  another will become as he insists that his one month old little sister be in the pictures too.

To them, tonight is a night of enchantment.  It’s a night at the ball, with a limousine as their magic carriage.  As a parent, as a mother, I see tonight as a right passage.  It’s a night that means we are on the downhill side of being a daily influence in our children’s lives.  Where once I couldn’t imagine a time when my son wouldn’t need me, I now realize that there will be a day in the not too distant future where I will be extraneous in his life.  Someday another woman will take precedence in his world.  But not now, not quite yet.

For now, for tonight, I can put that thought away, and enjoy the sight of seven beautiful young people.  With joy I watch their laughter and high spirits.  With one last admonishment to “be smart”  and a quick hug, I leave them to their evening.  It is, after all, their milestone.

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