...who could care two craps about the picture taking...
On the flip side, the mother of a daughter dressed and coiffed for homecoming is like none other.
Those daughter-moms are front and center, not exactly barking orders out to the group, but perhaps one notch lower in the form of aggressive directives for posing and manipulating adolescents for the perfect picture.
"Mom, don't say a word," warns my son.
And I don't. Because I know it's moot. The mother of a son attending homecoming has no say. None whatsoever. If she even tries to interfere with the mother/daughter dynamic, she'll be blasted. Or most politely, stared at, mouths agape, eyes rolling upward as they turn back to their beautiful little dolls dressed in heels they can't manage, hair plastered into intricate artwork, short dresses barley covering their bums.
The mothers quickly recognize their foiled attempts at the lineup, and immediately herd the group ninety degrees, so the blinding sun can squint all of their eyes shut because naturally, high school students dressed to the nines for a dance don't wear sunglasses. Not a one.
With the other Son-mamas, I take my spot in back. We aren't allowed to commandeer eye contact when our sons are involved. Because let's be real. Given the current homecoming uniform for boys, they all look the same if you remove their heads and just glance from the necks down.
But the girls?
They take pictures as a group. Then solo. Then with each and every individual friend. Then with groups of friends. Then with different groups of friends. Then from the back, from the side, close up, full length, with the Homecoming 2015 prop sign, with the sign on the ground. Invariably someone is ALWAYS late to pictures, so it starts all over. The entire group line-up, again. The girls only, again. Then the small group pictures, then the twosomes. AGAIN! It's insane.
I found myself feeling slightly judgy, and mysteriously guilty. I understood the judgmental part, because C'mon, Man! We were at it for an hour, and I finally had to sneak off to ensure I made it home to meet Kahley's date. Mr. Musky was fishing with the guys for a week, the lucky dog. On my ride home, I couldn't quite put my finger on the feelings of guilt.
Within an hour, I understood.
and innumerable twosomes.
As I walked into the gracious hosts' basement to gather my things and leave, I noticed something else.
Senior homecoming goers behave like mini adults. They huddled in small groups, socializing, enjoying a bite to eat before heading off to the dance. The atmosphere in the room was demure, sophisticated, and resolute with maturity. I specifically remember the agonizing, escalating volume when we hosted pictures three years ago, not to mention glassware that ended up broken on the floor. The difference between fourteen-year-olds and eighteen-year-olds is truly remarkable.
Am I sad that this is my daughter's final homecoming?
To Homecoming Moms everywhere, regardless if you've a son or daughter, I salute you and resolve to put any judgmental sentiments on the back burner. Enjoy the ride. Be bossy and get the perfect pic, if that's your thing. Stand back and watch, if that's where your more comfortable. But also don't be sad if it's the end of the road. Rather, join me in looking forward to what's ahead. Like showing up on the occasional Saturday and joining our kids in the finer art of the football tailgate.
For more blathering about homecoming, check out the 2014 recap here, and my thoughts on hootchie dresses here.