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Stacy's Parenting Journal

Entry 4 ~ June 10, 2009
Senior Prom 2009

The bickering, the coordinating, the money, the limo, the hair, the nails, the toes. Prom 2009 has finally come and gone. In contrast to the junior prom, Kristin was able to do much of the running around for herself, since she has her license and seeks the independence that many of us sought when we were that age. She picked out her dress with her girlfriends. She made her own hair and nail appointments and drove with a carload of friends to pick up dresses and tuxes.

The prom was a raging success from start to finish. Any and every girl I saw looked stunning, and all the young men looked handsome. The humor of it all was watching girls in gorgeous dresses stumble around in heels that were too high, nervously chewing gum, fanning their underarms, and best yet, the girls who wore strapless gowns who not-so-subtly pulled their dress up over their bosoms.

The next day, a large group of kids went camping about two hours away, including Kristin. The push for independence continued as we allowed her to join her group of friends for a weekend away. They got lost on the way, and on the way back. They slept in the rain, ate 'Ramen' noodles and huddled together in the cold, damp New England spring. They had a great time, something I hope they remember when they look back on their high school years.

It doesn't feel like twenty years ago that I was that age. I didn't think twice about getting in my car and driving over an hour to the beach after the prom. It irritated me when my parents wanted details as to the game plan for any given event, although I have to admit, they didn't push too hard. All these years later, I understand why my parents asked so many questions. Nowadays, with all the kids equipped with cell phones, lap tops, GPS systems and whatnot, communication is simple, and we parents are only a phone call, or better yet, a text message away.

As Kristin travels through these last few weeks of her senior year, I finally figured out that I'm not the evil stepmother that I always believed I was. I've realized that I'm just an ordinary parent, albeit a step parent, who is over-protective and concerned for her well being and her safety. When she heads off to college in the fall, one of my biggest hopes for her is that she will continue to wisely and responsibly embrace the independence that she has gained over the past few months without her dad and me there to guide her. Nonetheless, I'll take some comfort in the fact that we'll only be a text message away from each other.

~ Stacy

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