Saturday, February 08, 2014

Little steps: Jack's Cotillion

There are so many things that I admire about my oldest boy.  He and I are so different and it is wonderful.  He has so many qualities I never will- calm, collected, witty, loves the unknown.  This year was his second Cotillion.  There were no nerves.  It was old-hat now.  All fun, no worries.

Just before we left him for the night
We made shopping for his outfit a family affair at the mall.  He was slightly more opinionated than last year, but still mostly just had a "whatever you think, Mom" kind of attitude.  It was fun.  We thought maybe a bow tie this year would suit him well.  But ultimately, stripes it was.  He decided his uniform khakis would do just fine.  We borrowed a sports coat.  So off we were to buy shoes.  I really love what we got.  A little different than the norm, rugged but classy, good-looking.

The girls waiting to fill in their dance cards and be asked to dance
Beautiful tables
Sprucing up the gym
Our school does an excellent job of training the children in ballroom dance and etiquette before the dance.  They spend a couple of months in p.e. class learning the basic dances.  And they spend time during school learning table etiquette.  When they get to the dance, the students have a dance card at his or her seat.  Half of the dances have assigned partners.  There are 5 or 6 blanks where the boys have to get the cards filled before dinner begins.  Jackson was off with his friends, taking pictures and talking about the food they would eat.  I noticed everyone had almost gotten their cards filled and he hadn't even looked at his.  No worries, I'm sure he thought.  Or most likely, he hadn't even noticed.  But I told him, just in case, he might want to get to work.  He disappeared for 3 minutes and came back with a full card.  Perfectly Jackson.  By this time, the faculty and chaperons asked the parents to leave and come back four hours later after dinner and dancing.  I have a seventh grade, thirteen year old.  It's really surreal, and so is leaving him at a dance.  But off we went, and he didn't even notice or care.

i ::LOVE:: this boy

In the car...excited!
The redeeming factor?  He is a kind, well-mannered, innocent boy.  I really love his friends, who know and love the Lord, as well.  So off we went feeling a little emotional, but mostly extremely happy and confident that he would have a wonderful time. The younger kids were invited to go to a movie with their Poppy. So Andy and I found ourselves on a date.  Alone.  These are good days.

Later that night, the parents were invited to come to the dance at 15 minutes 'til 10 to see the last few dances.  I watched Jack dance, chat, smile.  He was enjoying the girls in his class in the sweetest, most innocent of ways.  I love that he danced the last dance with a girl who might not have otherwise been asked.  He enjoyed the night and remembered that I told him to have fun with his friends, but be mindful of the girls who need a partner and friend.
Last dance with a friend
Some teachers joining a line dance...Ha!
Parisian theme

He said last year was a little more exciting because "everything was new and he didn't know what to expect".  That statement proves again how different we are!  New and unknown does not equal excitement for this Mom.  I love that it does for Jack! His friends ran up, along with a parent that we respect and know well, and asked if he could go to IHOP.  Another Mom friend who was going offered to bring him home.  So we came home, put the younger two children to bed, and fell sound asleep.  It took the sound of the doorbell to wake us up when he got home at midnight.  This sweet boy and his friends and school are every bit a dream come true for me.  While not perfect, and I wouldn't expect so, truly IDEAL. I cannot believe we are at this stage in life.  But I am deeply grateful for all that the Lord has provided for Jackson and what he is doing in His life!  These little steps will amount to big ones, one day.
At the end of a dance, clapping, and then walking his dance partner back to her seat
Another dance with a friend

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