#MomLife: I just wanted to go dress shopping

Freshman Cadence ready for her first high school dance.

I’ve never been a huge sports fan. But I have always had school spirit, specifically Three Rivers Wildcat school spirit, and I would like to think that I have passed it onto my children over the years. I remember when Cadence was in kindergarten and Football Homecoming was coming up. I was so excited for her to participate in all of the Homecoming activities. The parade, the assemblies, the dress up days. I even put purple streaks in her hair. I guess you could say that I was living out my glory days through those purple streaks. 

My children have participated in many Homecoming events throughout the years but I think this year has been the most important to date. It was Cadence’s first high school Homecoming and Nathan’s last elementary school Homecoming. It’s bittersweet really. It reminds me of when I was in high school and how much fun I had 20 years ago. I imagine things have changed since then, but it was refreshing to find out that some things just never change, and some of the festivities are still the same. 

When my daughter told me she wanted to go to the Homecoming dance I was so excited for preparation and immediately started thinking about dress shopping. I remember going dress shopping with my mom. I remember the frustration of trying countless dresses on and not finding the one at the first store, then leaving and going to the second store to start all over again. So, it came as a surprise to me when Cadence told me she didn’t want to go dress shopping because she found a dress online. ONLINE…I know we are now in the online shopping world, but what happened to the dress shopping experience? Honestly, I felt kind of cheated. Much to my dismay, we ended up buying two dresses online for her to choose from. 

Once I got over the shock of losing the dress shopping experience I moved onto the other fun school spirit activities. I talked Cadence and her friend Sophia into going to Freshman Hallway Decorating, and even though they didn’t think they would have fun, they left saying it was great. My favorite activity is the parade. Of course, Nathan flat out refused to go to the parade with me. Saying he hated parades and that they are too loud. Yes, those are valid reasons to not want to go to parades, however, it still makes me sad. BTW, thank you to Cadence (after some begging and mom guilt), Sophia, and Cian for going to the parade with me.

I know it sounds silly but school spirit to me is an important part of your school experience. I just think it makes everything more fun and enjoyable. And it also gives you that small moment of time that is stress free. You can be fun and silly and root for your classmates and teammates. But as a mother I think we have to remember that not everything will be passed onto our children. Not everything will be the same as it was when you were a child. They may not have as much school spirit as you did. Your child could choose to wear black and grey on Rainbow Day like mine did. Your child may choose to buy a dress online or get ready for the dance at their friend’s house. You may not get that vision of seeing your child walk down the stairs the first time in their fancy dress or suit like you see in the movies. And guess what? Everything will be OK. 

Even though Homecoming week didn’t go the exact way I envisioned it doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun and enjoyable for my children. I just have to remember that I already had my moment when I was in high school, this is their time to make memories. It’s their time to tell me how they want their experiences to go, and it is my time to help make it a reality. My school spirit tendencies may not have been passed onto my children like I thought they would, and now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I’m OK with that. 

Steph Hightree is a hot mess mom who is fueled by stress and too much caffeine. She is a Three Rivers native who talks about the good, the bad, and well, everything else about parenthood.


Any views or opinions expressed in “#MomLife” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.

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