Happy Hoco

At 16 and in 10th grade, my kid went to their first fancy school dance this weekend. The 8th grade dinner dance was cancelled - along with everything else - in Spring 2020. Freshman year saw a school bonfire, an outdoor movie night, but no Homecoming Dance. Most of the schools in our area have moved their dances from the gym to outdoors - so smart! - and our child's school added food trucks and other fun features.

And, the pictures! The bold, jewel-colored dresses, the gorgeous shoes and hair and make-up, the converse sneakers with pants and jackets — it’s all too much, and the best reminder that while Homecoming might be a decades-old tradition, there is nothing traditional about it. Remember our school dances, with streamers and oaktag and a table with pretzels and punch? Not.any.more. Balloon arches, H-O-C-O balloons, sign gypsies displays … and this was just at various pre-parties, where the kids all gather to take big group pictures beforehand. My friend Michelle posted what may be my favorite pic of the night — a group of parents standing in the rain to get pictures of their daughters, gathered together under a covered porch. It showed what is totally the truth - our kids are happy to go to the dances, but the parents are even happier that their kids are getting to have these experiences.

Nothing like a school dance to remind you of what was missed the most during the beginning of the COVID crisis. We’ve learned a lot since then about what keeps us safe and healthy - and Hoco dances show us, it’s working. We are hearing rumors that the vaccine rollout for grade school aged kids is about to start - your friendly public health nerd here reminding you that emergency use approval means it’s been tried and tested many many times and with many different factors; the child dose is smaller than the adult dose; and check with your child’s pediatrician for their recommendation. Vaccines today lead to dances tomorrow.

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