Behind the glamour
and the dresses
and the smiles
are a whole bunch of adults in sweatshirts. Just as excited as the students.
I can’t speak for the boys’ dormitories, but in Main (where sophomore through senior girls reside), watching the students depart for winter formal was one of the highlights of the weekend.
To me the moment encapsulated everything we try to do as dorm parents: be supportive. Keep organized. Take pictures. With many families far away, we filled that role wholeheartedly, offering hugs and compliments and the occasional advice on footwear. We wanted each girl to feel as beautiful as she looked.
The girls were stunning, but more importantly, they seemed happy. They humored the adults who made them pose for photo after photo
and only got a little bit silly.
The holiday festivities continued the following day, with a dorm wide Yankee Swap (hot gift item: pink Snuggie), a candlelit Meeting for Worship with readings and music, and an elegant holiday dinner. Even the beloved flamingos made an appearance in the Meeting centerpiece!
There are moments when dorm parenting (like real parenting) can seem focused on the humdrum. Study. Clean your room. Call your mother. These small things are part of building a relationship, and it’s important to have conversations about homework and college and why uneaten tacos shouldn’t be left in the hallway. But this weekend, it was lovely to simply celebrate the season and the students. Gathered in Midway with the residents of Main, decked out in their semi-formal finery, I felt every bit the proud parent. I just happen to have 41 teenage girls.
Top photo by Courtney Harrigan