Truths I learned from our freshmen twins & their first Homecoming… 

  1. Some things change. After Catie’s four Homecomings, I kind of felt like a Homecoming veteran. I am not that. Because HoCo is really different as a mom of one independent girl than it is for two freshmen—especially when one of those freshmen is a boy.
  2. But here is what I did know—Homecoming is a greatest hit. That is to say that at the end of high school, HoCo weeks are always highlights. The dance and class competitions and epic decorations are mentioned in every speech and highlighted in all the slide shows. So, not to add FOMO to an already overcrowded week–but it’s really important to show-up for the festivities. 
  3. It takes a village. Homecoming isn’t just the week with the mums and garters and powder-puff football and pep rallies. It’s hours of planning, hundreds of texts and conversations, moments of connection and mutual support. In other words, it’s about community. And that’s something we all need more of right now. Maybe everything Homecoming looks overrated from the outside, but it’s a big celebration of coming together.
  4. More Togetherness. Even compared to last year, the mums are longer, the dresses are shorter, and the HoCo-proposals are more epic. HoCo keeps getting bigger every year. Our twins rode a party bus to the dance. Sam bought his first real suit. Elisabeth wore make-up. I have over 200 pictures of the festivities. I know. It’s a lot. But I’m here for it. Because the last few years have been hard and if a bunch of teenagers want to put down their phones to get dressed up and dance, that sounds like a really good idea.
  5. Actual Homecomings are good too. The original point of Homecoming is for alumni to come home to their alma mater. Catie’s class are alumni now and lots of her friends came home. It was astounding to see how quickly these last-year seniors had grown into fully-functioning college freshman.  (Catie went off-grid tent-camping in Estes Park. So proud of her for challenging herself—but we missed her coming home.)
  6. So is (painful) vulnerability. Like every episode of parenting, Homecoming is coated in vulnerability. And where there is vulnerability, there’s also lots of hurt feelings. I would outlaw hurt feelings if I could because I really, really hate anyone to feel sad or bad or mad. But you can’t have the exhilaration that comes with weeks like this without the hurt too. And in between the miscommunications, there’s so much joy in Texas-sized mums, boys with new haircuts, the pep band playing the school fight song, and a bus with a disco ball.

I guess that’s the lesson from this episode. Growth comes with lessons and my kids (and I) learned a lot from Homecoming.

And so, until next year…

…when the mums will be even longer, the proposals more epic, and the dresses shorter.

And we will be there for all of it. 

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