I couldn’t help but smile as I sat on the couch and listened as my 17 year old son walked back and forth in the living room talking on the phone to his older brother. The cleats and baseball pants he had worn on the baseball field an hour earlier had given way to dress shoes clicking on the hardwood floors of our living room. He was trying on his tuxedo for his first prom, and looked just as much at ease in this get up as he does in his baseball uniform in the dugout. He smiled and said, “I could get used to this…I feel like a king or something!”
I laughed. His brother laughed. His brother understood and remembered.
As I sat there and watched, I marveled, and was thankful for the little rites of passage, and the incredible gift to be able to be there with him and enjoy these little moments. Again. He has 3 older brothers who have already done the prom thing. His sister had so enjoyed it as well and had twirled and spun like she had when she was a little girl in a pretty new dress. But it’s his turn, and it’s new for him, and that makes it a joy for me.
And as I sat on the couch and watched him pace back and forth (with a little intentional slide every once in a while, for the patent leather dress shoes had very little grip), I couldn’t help but see the little 5 year old boy in this 17 year old body. I couldn’t help but think that this was yet one more step of that little boy becoming a man. Not because of the prom, or the suit, or the date, but because each new experience brings a bit more independence and growth. I just hope that as he becomes a man, he always feels “like a king” in his suit and at the same time, feels the freedom to slide every once in a while in his grip less patent leather dress shoes. Life is too short not to slide or twirl every once in a while, that’s for sure!