A Mormon Prom

Last evening, my sister started a picture war on Facebook, when she posted a photo of me from the mid 80's that was quite embarrassing. In true sibling rivalry form, I instantly opened the old cedar chest in my closet and began looking for one to return the favor. And while I didn't find the equalizer (either she has never taken a bad picture or she made sure I didn't get a copy after my mom passed), looking through brought back many moments of great joy and memories of my mother, who seemed to always have a camera attached to her face every time we were all together.

There were pictures of all of the family, several of my lifelong friends Ralph, Brad, and Bobbi, and even a copy of the only picture that hangs in my office, of my Grandma Slusher and myself that my mom took about 10 years ago. But it was when I stumbled upon one particular snapshot that I stopped and began to think of where I was then, and where I am today.

The date was August 26, 1998. My family stood around me as we welcomed John-Michael into this world. The nurse, Ava, handed my son to me and my mom snapped a photo. I remember that moment like it was yesterday, and thinking how I was now responsible for another whole person. When we took him home, I kept checking on him as he slept and questioning the credibility of a hospital that would send him home with me, because I had no idea what I was doing. It seems like that was yesterday.

Tomorrow, the nearly grown man that baby has turned into will attend his first prom, a Mormon Prom with his girlfriend, Rebecca. We do not know much about their religion, but both Tiffany and I think the world of this young lady and her family. They seem like great people, and her father told me that he is the most respectful young man they have ever met. Not bad for having no idea what I was doing.

I have never seen him so worried about what he is going to wear. Normally, its the three days dirty wrestling hoodie and a pair of old jeans. But this is prom, and he wants to dress to impress. Of course that put former prom queen Tiffany in full mom mode, helping him to pick out the perfect suit jacket and find the prettiest corsage. Its cool to watch them from the other room, here pointing up at him (he is now taller than both of us) and telling him he had better behave and not make us Grandparents. And him turning red and swearing that there is no chance of that and that he does not want to have this discussion with her. Little moments of life that I will always remember and my mom would have snapped a photo of if she were here.

From a daisy duke wearing dork in 1986 (ask my sister for the picture) to a proud father in 2014, I am grateful for every moment of life in between. It has always been one big learning experience. And I hope it always will continue to be.

Day # 403. I learned this week that when my son says he is going to Mormon Prom, it is inappropriate to ask if he is allowed to take 5 dates. But it is still good to be me!


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