"Are you crazy?!"
The question was asked repeatedly over the last several weeks by everyone who heard that Joe and I had volunteered to host the post prom party for the Junior class.
After a while, we started asking it of ourselves.
Were we crazy?
42 students? Here? In our house? On prom night?
As it turned out, we weren't crazy at all because here's what we learned: if teens are given high expectations to rise to the occasion, they will.
And while I don't pretend to know everything, here is what worked for us:
- The party had a beginning and an end.
- There were chaperones.
- We provided different areas for the kids to wander: rec room (music and dancing), dining room (food), back deck (drinks ... canned sodas and bottled water), and the outdoor brick patio with a roaring fire in the fire pit. By providing movement throughout the house there was no loitering in the driveway or front yard ... something Joe and I, in consideration of our neighbors, wanted to prevent. The different areas also provided places to go for those who didn't want to dance.
- Because state law forbids teens to drive past midnight, parents made arrangements to pick up their teen or have another parent bring him/her home. Everyone got home safely.
- We let the teens be part of the planning. My son and his friends were in charge of the music. On Friday they moved furniture (including a pool table) out of our rec room, and set up the
stereosound system. They did sound checks, and had me walk around outside to see if the music could be heard from the street. On Sunday they returned to reverse the entire process.
Everything went perfectly and we didn't have a single problem ... not one.
On Sunday evening Joe and I brought a plate of cookies to five of our immediate neighbors as a thank you for being patient. They all said the same thing: they couldn't believe that, with 42 high school students next door, how mannerly and considerate (and quiet!) everyone was. This, more than anything, made us very proud of of them. They represented their school very well.
|the sound system ... you can't see the lights in the other three corners of the room!|
|getting ready to go pick up his date|
|Nicholas and his prom date|
|prom guys and gals|