Time slipped through my fingers again this month. My youngest had her prom last Friday. That blur of prep—shopping for the gown and the shoes to match, if not to topple, booking hairdo’s— it’s all over and we are now inching to the close.
Tears lurk. Around the corner is a goodbye I wish would hover for a while. For a lifetime would be nice.
My kid and I invited a few moms and daughters to start the evening in our garden. Dates were to come a little later so all of us former prom-girls-in-another-life could have our own shared moment. Peter and I had prepped the yard with lots of white flowers. Keep it neutral to allow this bevy of beauties to provide all the colour, or so our thinking went. Also planted were several peonies yet to bloom: not one of them. Four days later, my most showy bloom opened today. Mother Nature loves irony. On a mundane Monday. It’s happy hour somewhere in fairyland.
My oldest daughter was my bartender and we set out the rented glasses on the outside patio table, praying that promised rain wouldn’t come. Waiting until the last minute to set everything outside is not my favourite way to count down the minutes before an event. A “special weather statement” and a darkening sky threatened but never delivered. Can you forgive me for finding metaphors everywhere for our stubborn high-minded prom princess?
Instead, the sun shone hotly on the hothouse flowers below.
Sweat is a beast in a gown that will only know one night of dazzle. And those boys in the tuxedos? They roamed our garden like shiny beetles.
We moms looked on, oohing discreetly (decorum is a good cover) and pretended not to ride the train of memory pulling us this way and that. Where did it all go?
Remember when she first toddled across the grass and we clapped our hands in encouragement?
Remember when she sliced her hair in criss cross bangs in nursery school in a group hairstyling experiment and had to wear hairbands for the next year to cover what we affectionately referred to as ‘the lobotomy haircut’ —wasn’t that yesterday?
That hair is now coiffed and curled down her bare back. She turns to smile at me and the sun hits the top of her head exactly as time tumbles in a spectacular somersault.
Remember her first date? He came with his parents, waiting in their minivan outside in the driveway to take her to a movie with his family. She was still wearing hairbands, most of them sparkly.
Dates now present, the parent paparazzi continues to prod pose after pose, eliciting sighs and wiping of brows from the Gowns and Suits. These parents…when will they stop? When can we be alone?
It was over before it began-it being, of course, the real cocktail of emotion delivered up when they don the caps and gowns on graduation day. The kids (oh be quiet, minions. You will always be our babies) piled into our cars and we dropped them off at the next stop on their evening of dancing ’til dawn. Or something.
Straight on ahead. I need more Kleenex.
All prom photos courtesy of Photos by Caileigh