Taking back what was lost

COVID-19 has taken so much from so many. I don't even know how to articulate that without it sounding like a massive understatement. On a global scale, the virus is cutting a catastrophic swath, of course. On a smaller scale, it leaves countless disappointments in its wake. Sometimes I think about some of the major historical events of my lifetime: the Challenger explosion, the fall of the Berlin wall, the attempted assassination of President Reagan, 9/11, and so many others. COVID-19 seems to eclipse them all, and I can only hope that the future holds nothing worse. I am sure it will always loom large for the younger generations.

As far as disappointments go, I think I felt the most sympathy for the Class of 2020. I mean, you can say it's no big deal and that they won't dwell on what they lost, but I'm not so sure. I remember being a senior. After all those years of hard work, I was rewarded with a senior locker (at my high school the upperclassmen got bigger lockers than the underclassmen), senior prom, graduation, etc. I'm sorry that the class of 2020 didn't get to experience the denouement of their senior year. It sounds overly simple just to say "it sucks" but seriously, that was a lot of suckage for them to endure.

For my daughter, her freshman year was cut short. Sure, there will be other track seasons, other choir concerts (we hope, anyway), but it was still a blow. Between March and June, we definitely learned that home schooling is not for her. Her fabulous ADHD brain needs to be IN a classroom. I am hoping there is an opportunity for on-premise learning in the fall. I'll send her in a plastic bubble if that's what it takes - I just know that she needs to be there. This week, she should have been in show choir camp, working with the choreographer. No one knows what will happen with choirs and such. For those who live to perform, not being on stage is just another disappointment. By the way, be sure to support some of those great Facebook live concerts and fill the virtual tip jars. Strange days indeed. I'm now taking yoga classes online, which is also an odd experience. I'm warming up to it, though.

One big experience that many kids missed this spring: prom. My daughter's boyfriend is a junior and he invited her to his prom. We bought her dress at the end of February. She found one she loved and it fit her perfectly. We dropped it off for alterations in mid-March, just as things were starting to get weird. The dress stayed there until early June. The shop was closed as a non-essential business and of course the prom had been canceled by then anyway.

Once the alterations shop re-opened, we had one final fitting (the seamstress was adamant about not cutting off the bottom of the dress until we were absolutely sure, and with A being just five feet tall, there was plenty of cutting to be done). About a week later, the dress was done. Between the dress and the alterations, we dropped a few bucks but hey, it's a fabulous dress.

Fortunately, her boyfriend was still interested in planning a special night out. His mom and I were also in communication to connect on the date, photo plans, etc. They ordered a tuxedo to match her dress. I was busy watching YouTube videos in an effort to figure out how to create an updo. We shopped for shoes and a gold clutch. Last Saturday was the big day. Armed with a handful of bobby pins and a can of hairspray, I managed to tame the curls into one of the YouTube 'dos. I also needed to help zip her into the dress. I know I am biased, but my baby girl was breathtaking. I let her borrow my diamond stud earrings just to add an extra little touch.

The plan was to meet for photos (A's boyfriend's brother is a great photographer) at 5:00 and then the happy couple would head to dinner. The weather did not fully cooperate (thanks, rain and humidity) but the photo shoot was a lot of fun. We had permission to shoot inside a historic hotel as long as no hotel guests were included in any of the photos.

A's boyfriend showed up in his tux to pick her up. So handsome! Their outfits coordinated perfectly. Her dad and I drove separately to the hotel so that we could tag along for the photo shoot. The hotel had a lot of amazing features (like balconies, antique couches, etc.) that provided a great backdrop for the photos. We then headed to a gazebo to get a few more shots. It started to rain but they simply included an umbrella in some of the shots.

After the shoot, the dapper couple headed to dinner and the rest of us headed to our respective homes. I wasn't expecting to see the photos for a day or two but they hit my inbox just a couple hours later. I am unable to articulate just how much I love them. You'd never know it had been a rainy day. Nearly every shot was perfect.

When we were in the middle of the outdoor shoot by the gazebo, a woman ran out of a nearby pub to ask what the special event was. Apparently, everyone had been watching from the windows and she had been elected to find out what was going on. We looked over at the pub and people were waving. With the dark times we are in, I think people are just genuinely happy for any good news they can get. And seeing two high school students (who are madly in love with each other), get their prom back (albeit a very different experience) is the good news we all need right now. I know I was happy to see them get back some little bit of what they had lost. We are all learning to adapt in ways we never imagined.

So, here's to prom dresses and tuxedos and fancy dinners. And here's to love, which always wins.

Here, enjoy some photos of the cutest couple ever.


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