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!
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.