A First Homecoming


Sitting out under the stars, waiting for Eli’s homecoming dance to end, I feel completely out of place.

Dozens of much older-looking teens mill about in their Sunday best, making me feel even less like I belong here.

My son is just a freshman. Fourteen years old. He doesn’t look like these young adults yet.


At least, not quite yet.

(Will he ever? Aren’t our own kids always our babies?)

See, I don’t know how I am here again already. I just don’t.

Could somebody please explain to me how is it that my second child is in high school? How?

I’ve raised a high-schooler before; this shouldn’t feel so foreign to me. But it does.

“This is our last song of the evening!” the DJ announces as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” blares into the night.

Don’t stop believing? Eli’s been a freshman for almost three months and I can’t even start believing that it’s true.

His cheeky toddler face keeps surfacing in my mind, and I swear it was just a minute ago that Friday nights meant footed pajamas, a bottle of milk and a stack of picture books–not neckties, loud music and….girls?


It all went by so fast. So incredibly, impossibly, improbably fast.

And I find myself sitting here, out under the stars, waiting for a second beloved son’s first homecoming dance to end, feeling completely out of place.