It was Homecoming for Sean at the high school. Huge event.
I knew this day was coming but agonized over what to do…how it would go down. Dang, I sound like a cop.
Would he go with a date? Would he go with a group like most high school kids do nowadays? Would he go alone?
Would he go at all?
Would he care?
When Sean brought up the idea my husband said, “No.” I’m not sure if “absolutely not” was added but you get the idea.
I don’t think my husband ever went to Homecoming.
But Sean wanted to go.
And I wanted him to change his mind.
Thus, off I went to school one day to buy his Homecoming ticket. It cost only $15 so if he changed his mind it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
But he didn’t.
And Rich and I were left wondering what to do. All sorts of things ran through our heads…imagined and real horrors of experiencing high school dances way back in the 80’s when security was lax.
Drinking, smoking, kids making out….
Now it was my turn to say “Absolutely not!”
But I didn’t.
No… instead I volunteered to help out that night.
Yep, you read that right. Helicopter Mom to the rescue! Some of my family chastised me for my altruistic efforts. My friends made fun of me.
“Cut the chord.”
“Let him have a life.”
“Don’t be THAT mom!”
But I am. I am that mom who worries and wonders. I am that mom who wants to be there for their child…needed or not.
And so I was.
I put my best respectable mom clothes on, some semi-sturdy shoes, and volunteered to work at the dance.
OK, give me some credit… I asked to be far away from the action…in the coat checkroom. At least I didn’t volunteer to watch over the dance floor from the balconies!
I could have but I’m sure if I actually witnessed what went on on the dance floor…well, I’m positive this would have been his LAST Homecoming Dance!
Set up in a corner of the cafeteria, I worked a glorious three hours checking in six-inch heels and babysitting cell phones.
Sean came by a couple of times – looking amazingly handsome in his borrowed tie - to tell me how his night was going. Did he dance? Yes. Was it with a girl? Sometimes.
For the most part though he hung out in the lobby. The music was too loud in the gym and it hurt his ears. Next time he wants to wear earplugs.
Next time? Seriously? I have to endure all the what-ifs of tonight all over again?
To quote Sean… “Great”… but put a groan on the end of mine.
As the night came to a close and the tie came off, I asked Sean if he had a good time. He did. He was so excited to experience a major milestone of being a teenager in high school…going to his first Homecoming Dance.
It wasn’t the experience of most of the kids that night. No big groups of dancing sweaty kids. No shouts of “Seniors! Seniors!” from the dance floor. No sneaking off to the back staircase for a quick kiss (at least I hope not!).
He was by himself the majority of the night….pacing at the top of the stairs leading to the gym… alone amongst over a thousand of his classmates.
But he was there and that was the most important thing for him…being there. Oh, and of course, all the girls, too!
And I got to be there as well…safely tucked away…but always at the ready.
I am, after all, THAT mom.