Monday, April 30, 2012


Dave in blue velvet.
Landon's prom was last night.  He came home this morning after the post-prom party saying he had fun at the dance busting out his moves.

It was Landon's first prom.  For Dave and me, it was the fifth time going to the prom's grand march to see our kids on stage.

The grand march is held in the gym prior to prom. The guys are decked out in tuxes; the girls in beautiful evening gowns.

When we went to prom, the girls wore Gunne Sax, cotton dresses with lots of lace. In retrospect, they were a little dorky.
Me in my Gunne Sax.
You have to get to the gym early to get a good spot. Doesn't matter when I get there; I always pick the wrong place. I end up crawling on my hands and knees crouched between aisles to take a picture. I have yet to get one good picture at any grand march. The same thing with graduation. Either the picture is a blur or it's too dark. The worst part is I miss the momentous occasion trying to take a picture of it.
Landon and Josee

This is our last child. I'm going to get a good picture. We arrive early. I sit next to the middle aisle. I figure I'll be right there to take a picture when Landon and his date walk by.

The emcee comes out, welcomes everyone, and explains how the couples will descend the stage and walk around the outside of the aisles. Drat. I'm in the wrong spot. Again.
There are seven pages listing the order of couples' names. Landon and his date's names are on the sixth. I count off each page before Landon's name is called. Finally it gets to page six.

I crawl down the middle aisle. I practice getting the best angle on the three couples ahead of Landon and his date. And then their names are announced. They come through the arch on stage.

I raise my camera and press the button. Nothing. I try again. The screen freezes with the words "Internal memory full."  I can't believe it. I frantically try to delete pictures to restore memory to take just one picture.

I'm missing watching Landon and Josee descend the stage. They reach the floor. I am kneeling on the floor directly in front of them. I give Landon a little wave. Landon looks down at me, smiles and nods.  I raise my camera and pretend to take a picture.

And then they're gone.

I don't know why, but I'm always left with this little ache in the back of my throat the night of prom. There is all this flurry of activity helping your son or daughter get ready. You tell them to be safe and have fun. And then they leave. And you stay behind. With your camera filled with blurred images.

I feel better when Paige texts me later that she feels a little sad for some reason too. She remembers her own proms. And now her little brother is at prom, handsome and all grown up.  She just wants to give him a hug.

Landon will be a senior next year. He's our youngest. There will be just one prom and graduation left. I'm not taking any pictures. I'm going to sit back, soak it all in, and just watch.

Amber and Paul
Matt and Paige

P.S. Notice there are no pictures of the grand march. If anyone got one of Landon, let me know.

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