Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Season of Proms

My sister and I were honored to cater the prom for this private school Saturday night. We figured out it was the seventh time we've served these young people punch and finger foods over the years. I taught in the elementary school, my children both attended there, and I'm presently on its school board. There are obviously some strong ties to my heart.

So many things remain the same throughout these proms. The parents who show up early and transform ordinary rooms into magical places. The students who arrive looking a little nervous at an evening they will remember for the rest of their lives. The parents who return at the stroke of prom's end to take down months of planning and preparation in minutes. And probably begin planning for next year's prom the following week.

I love coming and working behind the scenes. Watching the students practice their first steps across the threshold of their adult futures. Some of them were in my classroom while they were still losing their baby teeth and learning to write in cursive. Now they are learning to navigate a special evening in high heels, corsages and stiff tuxedos.

We have turned our prom food tables into a science of sorts. We know that the grazing is sometimes a way to fill the time or dodge an awkward moment. We think like seventeen year old boys... as far as food is concerned. We supply copious amounts of snacks they would eat watching football games including cheese, sausage and chips. For the girls, we have fruits, small sandwiches and lots of choices involving chocolate. We have discovered that any fruit juice becomes a great punch as long as it is mixed with ginger ale. We served 8 gallons of punch. We normally go through 4-5 times as many cups as there are students. Walking to the punch bowl is a continual rite of passage throughout the evening.

Some things also change. This year the dresses were long and floral or short and layered with ruffles. The doorprizes throughout the evening have grown to include laptops and dorm refrigerators. The music is mixed by a DJ who includes everything from techno to "Thriller".

Other changes? The prom caterers no longer wear stylish shoes with heels to serve food. The years, they have taken a toll on our need for comfort. Without telling the other sister, we showed up in unintentionally matching comfort. And laughed our heads off for the first time of the evening. Because prom night is always full of fun. No change there.

Comfy shoes because we wanted to do a great job, go the distance and be invited back next year. Those hosting the junior/senior prom next year were in my kindergarten class. I want to see how time has graced those little children who couldn't remember the letter "w" when learning the alphabet, smeared glue sticks on their lips like chapstick and cut their hair with rounded scissors. I know they will be as elegant and poised as this year's crop. Can there be anything more wonderful then watching children grow up well?

Maybe watching in comfortable shoes.

Thanks for the memories. I end with words from a song played last night:

"These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive.
These are the moments, I'll remember all my life.
I've got all I've waited for. And I could not ask for more."

Congratulations, Class of 2009!

1 comment:

Scribbit said...

How fun for you! Looks like a great night.