Rites of Passage

I’ve heard it bemoaned that American culture is lacking in rites of passage. I find this amusing as it seems like my oldest daughter, Kiki’s, life is currently made of mile markers. She turned 16 last May, which means she is now old enough to date. We’re working on driving practice so that she can get her driver’s license. Three days ago we put a cell phone in her hands and declared it to be hers. Since that time she has spent many hours texting her friends using this shiny new device. I watch with amusement, confident in our unlimited texting plan. With the phone, we gave her some rules and made sure that she knows phone ownership is a revokable privilege. She is still in the giddy/grateful stage. When things settle down I’ll know for sure whether she needs help balancing her device habits. Being around to help her develop good phone etiquette is one of the reasons we got her the phone now. One of the reasons we waited so long was to make sure that she could be responsible with small electronic devices. The biggest reason we decided to get her the phone was because we realized that she was missing out on some of the social interactions with her circle of friends because they were reluctant to contact her on the family line. So my teenage daughter has a phone.

Kiki also has a formal dress. Homecoming is next Saturday. She has not been officially asked to the dance, but The Boy has already discussed with her (via text on her shiny new phone) whether attending with a group would be okay and said that he has something to talk to her about on Tuesday. This prompted an urgent hunt for a suitable dress, “just in case.” We started at Savers and Decades, where we found two inexpensive second hand dresses which we can alter into amazing dresses. Then Kiki confessed that she really wanted to go look at brand new dresses. Dillard’s had a dress that we both spotted in the same instant and headed for. It is perfect. We bought it. I then informed her that for at least the next year, her formal dress options are limited to the ones already in her possession or to ones she can borrow. She came home happy.

Next Saturday I’ll get to send my beautiful daughter off on her first formal date.