Everyone's teeth were white, the boys all seemed to have rented their patent-leather shoes in the same place, and it was almost impossible to get a candid photo since everyone was in a glistening mode.
Last night was prom night for my older son and his classmates. Parents and students snapped photos and called out to each other and posed and swirled in eddies of one configuration and then another. The bonhomie was both enjoyable and had a quality of mixed messages ... a ritual to mark the almost-end of high school, the attendant pride of accomplishment and the edgy just-below-the-surface question, "If this is the end, what's next?"
Parents wondered how their children had ever gotten so big, so ... ummm... adult-looking. Some had the half-proud, half-stunned look ... as if in recognition of (was it?) Beatle John Lennon's observation that "life is what happens while you were busy making other plans." All the students had such seamless, assured faces -- the kinds of faces parents recognized as once having been their own.
And after the pictures and the swirling in the gymnasium that became the gathering place of choice after rain made a nearby park impractical, the students loaded into buses and limousines and were off to dinner and dancing while the parents headed for home and their own dreams of past and future.