Prom Night

I didn’t go to the prom in my long ago, far away, all boys, high school. If you saw me then, you’d understand. Geek did not begin to describe me. I’ve always looked young, and when I was 18, I looked about 12. I was transparent to girls.

That’s why, in many ways, I’m experiencing things for the first time through Steffie. Tonight was prom night for her school.

It’s my understanding women already know this, though guys do not. The prom doesn’t just happen on prom night. There’s a lot of prep. A lot of angst. A lot of shopping.

Steffie was equal to the task and Helaine helped out. My biggest contribution, as far as I can tell, was the Sunday I tried to sleep in the car so they could shop at Roosevelt Field Mall.

Tonight, Steffie looked beautiful. As a father, I’m biased. I’ll try to be impartial. She was radiant.

Her date, Sean, came to our house at 6:30. We all drove to the limo pickup point.

This is an interesting part of proms. As much as parents are excluded from a teenage life, at least on prom night, parents are needed for photography. Whoa! I’ve never met a photo that didn’t need to be shot.

Four couples were leaving from the house of one of the boys. It was actually the perfect location, a large home on a very large piece of land in Woodbridge. Photographers kill to shoot at locations like this where the backgrounds are soft and lush.

Though I’m normally not very happy with a busted forecast, our gloomy morning turned into a partly cloudy afternoon and mostly sunny early evening. The light was golden and the couples were beautiful.

Helaine cried a little on the way back home. I’m not saying that to embarrass her, because it’s a common reaction.

Soon, our daughter will be leaving us to go to college. For nearly 18 years we’ve been responsible for nearly every part of her life. Now, we’ll only be responsible for the cash. Tonight was a well marked signpost in that journey to adulthood.

This morning Stef asked if she could have some friends over after the prom. We said yes, but not without restrictions. No alcohol. No drugs. Anyone who left couldn’t come back.

As an adults, Helaine and I have responsibilities we can’t take lightly. Stef has said she’ll hold up her end, policing her friends as best she can. As much as I want to trust her – and I do – I’ll still stay vigilant tonight. That’s what a dad does, I suppose.