The Chicken Chick

All the hype about Prom—is it really worth it? Girls and their parents spend so much for so little, really. Dresses and shoes, of course, are usually expensive. Then there’s a corsage to buy, pictures, hair, makeup, nails, etc. Add in a dose of anxiety about finding a suitable date, and I have to wonder if it’s really worth it. Let me tell you about my experience.

I was so lucky to find a discounted dress at Deb’s in Grand Island last October. It was on sale for about $25. I saw a tiny flaw on the breast and brought it to the cashier’s attention. I received an additional 55% off! HALLELUJAH! Imagine my glee in spending so little for a PROM DRESS! (Sorry to shout, but it was exciting.) Getting Princess Ysabela’s hair done cost me $25 (thank you, Lisa), and a wrist corsage was a little over $17 (thank you, Lynn). Momma was rocking, right? Go me! Anyway, I thought I was rocking too. As I mentally patted myself on the back, I noticed my princess was manifesting signs of stress. Stress? Why ever would that be? How do I know?

Ysabela was smiling, but her silver shoes became her focus once she got to the gym. She complained that they hurt her feet. I suspect that was simply a symptom of insecurity and nerves. It makes sense. Like a guest speaker at school said, “Kids walk on stage and perform every time they enter the school.” I had never thought of high school like that. If I view Prom in the same light, no wonder Ysabela was using her shoes as a focal point for her nerves! It was easier than admitting to herself (or me) that she was feeling insecure. Oh, teen angst! It’s a battle we all must fight—and hopefully win.

Is the stress worth it? Prom is an important event in a teen’s life. As a parent, I think we need to be vigilant and do something if we notice our children’s stress levels escalating. I, for one, will pay close attention to my daughter’s clues, both verbal and nonverbal.

Princess Ysabela

Princess Ysabela

Unexpected Blessings

Have you ever been blessed while waiting in a Wal-Mart checkout-out line? Usually I’m really cranky if I have to wait more than five minutes to make it to the cash register. Once, not long ago, I waited 20 whole minutes….and got a blessing out of it. I struck up a conversation with the lady in front of me. We were, after all, trying to pass the time pleasantly while waiting in line. Either that or misery loves company… any rate, Tammy shared that her teen was redecorating her room and was “done” with her zebra stuff. Let me leave Wal-Mart for a minute and step into my classroom.

As a teacher, I get a really good idea of what my students love or collect as I see them in class and hear their chatter. I knew one of my girls LOVES the zebra pattern on anything. Now back to the check-out line.

I asked Tammy, my new best friend, if she would be willing to sell me the zebra stuff. I was determined to get it for my student, you see. I learned that Tammy is a gracious, generous lady who wanted to “pay it forward.” As we talked more, we both agreed that every time we have needed something, someone has been sent to provide it for us. You might call this karma or the hand of God, but either way, I know miracles can and do happen. Tammy shares that belief. We swapped phone numbers and agreed to meet another day so I could pick up the zebra room décor—lamp, flowers, wall hangings, everything. The day came, and I was thrilled to see her again. She is truly a wonderful person. She even brought a couple of pairs of shoes that were not needed by her teen. Wouldn’t you know that my daughter could wear one pair and her friend could wear the other!

We don’t usually equate Wal-Mart with awesome new friends, but it can happen. Don’t you just love those wonderful, wacky Wal-Mart women?