Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cotillion 2009

It all started in December when I signed the boys up for their first cotillion classes. Ben was in class with Evan and Jacob, while Jake was signed up with Trevor and Will. I don't think I would have made them do it if they didn't have friends signed up too. It was so nice to have carpools for the boys! A week or so before classes started the boys were very keyed up about the whole thing. Almost every dinner conversation revolved around cotillion expectations and Dave's "funny" advice. Dave did cotillion when he was in junior high, plus he's just a good person to give hilarious advice (if you're 9-13 years old, and not a mother). Hilarious.

Come January 14th, we made sure suits were correct sizes and white shirts and ties were clean and ready to go. As with most things at our house we had two totally different reactions/temperaments being exhibited on that first stressful night.

Ben was feeling overly confident and handsome. "Mom, come do my hair." Which quickly changed to "Mom, it's fine already. I want to look GOOD but not TOO good." Every mirror he passed by warranted a stop and comment like, "I could be the President's son I look so good. Heck, I could be the President." This is Ben's way of coping with a new, stressful situation...

He does look GOOD!

Jake on the other hand was working himself up and getting more and more angry and belligerent with me as time wore on. "Why did you sign me up? I'm going to be the worst dancer there. I'm the ugliest person alive. I hate you." A completely different tone. Oh, the drama.

He looked GREAT and luckily someone else was driving him so he had to snap out of it a bit and relax.

Fast forward several weeks later and we have two boys who were enjoying and excited about cotillion. The obstinate 13-year-old of course was not copping to having fun, but as I drove him and his friends and observed class, I found out the truth. He even wanted to practice dancing with me at home so I know he turned a corner somewhere in there.

The "little boys" had a costume night and I really should have taken pictures of the girls. They were so darling.

The banana costume was very original, just like Ben.

After the party and dinner we had to stop at Dave's work. Ben wanted our picture "in front of blood." Weirdo.

The final night parents are invited to attend. I knew that sons would dance with their moms and daughters would ask their dads. What I did not realize was that I would be dancing for nearly 45 minutes. That's a lot for someone who has not been taking dance classes! I was pitiful at the Tango but Jake was very kind to me. In fact, Jake is an excellent dancer. He really knows how to lead and explain steps. Ben had fun with me once he got over the fact that he had to dance with his mom (uncool) and realized EVERYONE was in the same boat.

I wasn't expecting 4 (for Jake) or 6 (for Ben) classes to make a difference for my boys. We did it for the experience really, but the truth is that there is a subtle, recognizable difference in some of their behavior. Here's to holding doors, "sophisticated" conversations with adults, making eye contact when you shake hands with someone, and of course, the Foxtrot.

A much happier, more confident cotillion attendee.

Jake ate dinner at the final cotillion party with his peers while on Ben's final night we attended with his friends and their families and then went to dinner at the Tavern. It was a great couple of nights. I'm so thankful to have boys. There's nothing like the love of a son...except the love of TWO sons. Thanks, guys. Until next year.

Ben cutting loose.


Becky said...

Love your outfit! The boys look great. I think all kids should have to do that, but I have never heard of it locally...

Anonymous said...

To my special boys, I am so impressed. You both look so handsome, and I know you had a lot of fun. Believe me, knowing how to dance will serve you well when you are in high school and college (oh, man, can you really be that close to being grown up?) I love you so much and I am so proud of you.

Grandma said...

Whoops, what happened? This should have been published under "Grandma", not anonymus. Don't know how to change it. What have I done?

Anonymous said...

I am NOT reapet NOT going to cotillion next year.

From the loving kind,

Lori said...

Those are great pictures and it was a great experience (for us parents) REALLY Jake your not going to do it again...

Rob said...

Cotillion? You really are living in a different world from us! I'm glad Ben at least enjoys getting all dressed up. Jake, is this really what I have to look forward to with McGuire? He's already acting like such a teenager, it's driving me crazy! Any tips on how to get him to not be so hostile towards his father (I figure his mother is a lost cause)?

carrie said...

i'm in awe. that is not something we have here that's for sure. but hey why not right. when does rachel start with debutant classes?!!!!

Anonymous said...

you guys are all so cute. Boys, you looked great in your suits. I'm proud of you for trying something new. Kim you look great and very thin,cute outfit too. I miss you so much. I hope you can come to the East Coast again soon so we can go to the vermont house.
Have fun on your vacation . Love

Laura said...

Those are awesome pictures!! In front of blood, Ben?!?! You are nothing, if not original! Jake, don't knock dancing; the older you get, the more girls LOVE a guy who can dance!!!