girl in blue prom dress
Prom is an exciting time of year in any teenager’s life. Thinking back to those special days, what do you remember? Did you go with friends or did you wait for that certain someone to ask you? Did you enjoy shopping for the right dress and then pamper yourself to the nth degree the Saturday of the event? I bet you still have those pictures somewhere in the archives. Take a walk down memory lane with me and I’ll share a few funny stories with you:
1) Prom is all about the dress. Every girl knows this. I can remember going shopping with my friend Trisha whose mother worked for Seventeen Magazine. She had access to a 20,000 square foot warehouse of dresses in every size, style and color. We had the entire showroom to ourselves for an afternoon and spent hours trying on dress after dress until we each found the perfect one…and the best part was, no one else would have it!
2) Pampering is a must. Not one to normally primp and pretty myself, as I was much more the ponytail athletic type, I still made the typical hair and nail appointments. But weeks prior to that, another friend, Debbie, and I started to skip out on our lunch hour to go tanning. I loved lying in the lighted coffin for 20 minutes and coming back to school beat red when it was only 30 degrees outside. I can assure you we were the only ‘tan’ girls at our prom that spring, in Chicago. (We obviously didn’t know how bad it was for us back then!)
3) Pictures make the memories last. Was it a 10mm or 35mm camera, I can’t remember, but I do remember taking lots of pictures. What would be the point of all this prepping if I didn’t freeze that moment in time? Parents gathered at my house with their prom-bound teens and took group pictures, individual pictures and family pictures. The air was abuzz with well-wishes, compliments and words of caution. The children I babysat even came to see all the dressed up ‘princesses’.
Thinking back though, the best part of prom was that it was all about my friends and me. If we wanted to go shopping, we could. If we wanted to make a hair appointment, we did. We made the plans and enjoyed the party. There were no other responsibilities looming over our heads to worry about. No bills to pay, no kids to care for or houses to clean, so fun came quick and easy, as it should for a teenager.
My how times change! These days sometimes a night out with friends just means more work. Shopping is more of a chore, and nail appointments are something to check off the ‘to-do’ list. Pictures of us are few and far between. Have you looked at your picture album lately? It’s most likely filled with pictures of everyone else but you, because you are the one behind the camera.
Remembering back to those high school days is fun, but somehow with all the busy-ness and chaos of parenting, watching my children grow is even more enjoyable and it probably is for you too. Yes, whether it is seeing your daughter find the right dress, watching your son agonize over asking that special someone to prom or being the parent behind the camera, prom is equally as exciting today, and maybe even more nerve-wracking, than being the smiling face in front of the camera. Prom is a time for remembering times past and creating new memories with your children. It’s also a great reminder that it’s still important for you to take a night off just for fun with friends.
As a Certified Life Coach, speaker and author, April O’Leary helps women bring peace into their busy lives. She also teaches a tele-course called Ride the Wave and offers one-on-one coaching sessions by phone or in her office. April and her husband Jim reside in Estero with their three girls. For more on April, visit her website at www.apriloleary.com.