Homecoming 2014

We have two kids in high school.  Does that make us on our way to old??  Nah!  But it does make us on our way to lots of new experiences.  There are many things that run through my head about all that I learn along the way, and I hope that I remember those things for years to come.  Particularly, our actions, reactions and expectations from the perspective of being new at all of this.  It is not much different from how it looks as a new parent for the first time...you know, boil the pacifier if it so much as touches something other than baby's mouth for the first kid vs. wipe it on your shirt after it falls in the dirt for the 4th kid!  I can handle the festivities...the paint on the white shorts, the football game and the fun surrounding it for all the fans...

There are so many things that I could describe in terms of parenting the oldest children through the years that this post would never end, so I will focus on the subject at hand...High School Homecoming--(the dance)

We have a "no-dating" standard in place in our home.  The intention is that it will be the same standard that we hold even the youngest children to down the road, but time will tell.  We are cautious and careful and likely a little overboard, but it is what we desire for our family, despite the idea that we may be going against the grain.  We don't expect that our boys won't like girls...won't be attracted to them, want to spend time with them, be confused by them, hang out with them or even have normal teenage boy desires.  We just don't desire to allow them to be in a position of one-on-one situations that typically only lead to more of the aforementioned.

We recognize that there are circumstances that require more thought and bending of the standards a bit.  School dances are one of those circumstances.  This year, both boys asked a girl to the dance.  I will not pretend that Homecoming was "hype-less" when I was in high school and that I didn't get excited about it.  It definitely wasn't as formal as it is now though.  Even though asking a girl is "allowed", date-like behavior is discouraged as much as possible.  We require a group setting, a close to normal curfew and reiterate the expectation that they will practice being gentlemen in every sense.

Boy...(boys)...it isn't an easy environment to participate in and maintain said expectations!  Jakob went with a group of friends last year, but without a date.  It's possible!!  This year, due to having "dates", there was an unspoken expectation of flowers, dinner, coordination, etc.  LIVE IN A CAVE ANYONE????  I want to...it would certainly be easier!
Tim being funny pretending that he was going to embarrass Jakob while waiting for his date to arrive.

Let me be clear here...I am not passing judgement anywhere with the expression of my personal feelings or opinions.  I am admitting how hard it is at times to have a different view point though!

The corsage and boutonniere are such formalities that I'm pretty sure are far from necessary.  I laughed inside to witness a group of freshman boys sitting in one room of a house with their flower boxes in hand while the girls all sat in another room with their flower boxes in hand.  For 20 minutes, no one made a move!  Not until encouraged by camera-toting moms to find their "dates" and exchange flowers and pose for pictures.  Each of the kids looked very handsome and beautiful, but I didn't see that any of them were particularly comfortable exchanging flowers.  They didn't know how to offer them, what to do with them, how to wear them, how to stand together to take pictures with each other!  Why??  Because we parents were the ones with the expectations of what that should look like.  My inner voice was screaming "Let's go home and watch a football game instead!!!"

The evening unfolded and clearly the kids were all having fun, but the girls taking pictures with the girls and the boys taking pictures with their buddies.  I can't help but think they would have been so much more comfortable in sweat pants, flirting with each other by trying not to look at each other.  I'm sure the event was fun, and I know it will be memorable, but I also feel like my idea of what a dance should look like for a 14 year old boy is very different from most.

 I hope that in 6 years, I feel the same way...and more importantly that if I don't, that I will at least remember what it felt like to desire that for my child in case my 7th child is asked by someone's first child.  I'm still boiling the binky!!!