Joshua had already sent his 3 piece suit into school , ready for last night’s prom, but he was asked to send in toiletries, slippers, a towel and PJs yesterday as everyone in 6th form would be having a shower and hair-wash prior to the prom and a hairdresser would be coming in to coiff the students. I sent a note with his bag, that I would advise against changing him into his Pyjamas as that is a clear signal to go to bed for him and I was already concerned about his likely reluctance to stay awake.
The sixth formers stayed on at school after home time to enjoy fun and games in the beautifully decorated hall, which had a ‘The Greatest Showman’ theme. It was held in school, rather than a hotel this year, but they still made it special and more than a school disco with the circus theme. Parents were invited after 5 pm to join the party. As I had gone to the wake of our next door neighbour of our holiday cottage, I was never going to be there until after 6 pm. Both my husband and I arrived at the same time at 6.30, to find Joshua stripped of his boots, jacket and waistcoat as he was too hot, cooling off in the foyer. He had had some small seizures and a sleep, and his ex-teacher was there with him , poised with his emergency medication, should he have needed it. He was pleased to see us both, but he clearly thought that we had come to take him home as he was reluctant to walk back to the noisy, hot hall with us, as he protested by throwing himself to the floor.
But we insisted and waited for him to get up and encouraged him to the dance floor and to the games and his peers and the 6th form staff who were all dressed up beautifully. Hairdressers had been in to style the students and the girls in particular, looked amazing with curls and flowers in their hair. He danced with me for a while, then we sought a cooler area so we went outside where there was a breeze and we encouraged him to have a drink. Joshua made a few bids for freedom but he also had some magical moments with staff and fellow pupils too: He spent time sitting watching the others on the dance floor, waving and he danced himself too; music and his favourite faces kept him going, when clearly he just wanted to sleep really. At just before 8 pm, he made his final bid for freedom, shuffling down the corridor on his bottom and so I gave in, it was the end really, so we took him home, recognising that he really is not a party animal, not on a school night anyway! He went to bed as soon as he got home.
This is his second prom now, both on the hottest nights of the year it seems, so we have learned that while they may look smart, waistcoats are just too warm to wear on a hot night. We have some funny photographs from the photo booth, where he mainly looks bewildered , clearly thinking that the world has gone mad. He certainly enjoyed some of the party and it will be good practice for next July, when he will be one of the leavers , who’s special night it really is! These events do not happen by accident or luck, but staff put in a lot of hard work to make them a success and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so I would like to thank all of those involved in giving the students the Prom that they deserve and the opportunity to behave like mainstream teenagers. Thank you.