Belle of the Ball

Kids grow up so damn fast. Audrey had her first homecoming dance Saturday night. It was the first time I ever saw her in a dress, and she looked great.


Why, it seems like just yesterday that she looked like this.

sperm_and_egg_fertilizationThe years do fly by.

My friends ask me if having a daughter who is getting all gussied up to attend high school dances makes me feel old. No, I tell them, not at all! But the fact that I have to squint my eyes to read a damn text does.


A close family friend once famously declared, “old age is hell.” He was 28 when he said this. All I can say is, I hear you, bro.

Loud and clear.

Since we’re all aboard the Wayback Express, here’s a shot of Audrey on her first day of kindergarten.



Actually, I think that was the day before the day before her first day of kindergarten. I took her to her deserted school on a weekend to pose for pictures in advance. For authenticity’s sake, that is her actual classroom, at least – and the same outfit she wore. Hey, I didn’t want to have to deal with swarms of kids and a gaggle of  parents armed with cameras taking photographs of their precious little ones on the first day of school. This still looks like her First Day Of School, so for all intents and purposes, it is.

As much as things change, they do sometimes remain the same. F’r instance, she liked wearing sunglasses back then…


And still enjoys them now.

Relaxing on the ranch.


So, the high school years are underway. But for me it’s a great, big “again,” because I do have a son who went through this already and graduated last year.

Oh! That reminds me. In the interest of fairness, I should post a picture of Rusty preparing for his homecoming dance five years ago.


Gosh, if he wasn’t the belle of the ball that year!

See what I mean? It’s like deja vu. I’ve already been through this already…


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

11 thoughts on “Belle of the Ball

  1. Mark, please tell Audrey I think she looked faaaaabulous in that dress. I love black because it’s so classy and chic! And those two photos of her as a little girl are beyond precious. What a cutie!

    ” But the fact that I have to squint my eyes to read a damn text does.

    Ha! Me too. I have to squint to read the labels on things. And it doesn’t help much when they put white text on a light gray background because you can’t even see it.

    Okay, and that photo of Rusty? LOVE it! You GO, boy!

    Have a super week, Mark!


    1. I feel compelled to add a disclaimer that this photo is not really Rusty, but rather an attempt at humor on my part. I think a few people took it seriously. Oops! In any case, I’ve passed along your compliments to Audrey. Thanks, my friend!


  2. A 28 year old said that??

    Ok, Mark, I have never heard of anyone taking fake pictures of the first day of school! That’s hilarious! I did pose in some of my own fakes this past weekend though! I love all your photos. Audrey is a doll at any age. And it was fun to see your son. Maybe his photo will appear in Ron’s blog soon (see his post from today!)


    1. Yes, it’s a well-shared family story that good ol’ J famously uttered those words at the ripe old age of 28. Give or take a year. He’s now in his 60s and very much alive and kicking. As I told Ron, that isn’t really Rusty…I think my attempt at humor backfired. I know there are pics of him on my blog somewhere. I’ll have to share those soon.


      1. Actually…she is! LOL. But that’s just a coincidence. This was the best image I came up with after Googling “teenage boy in dress.”

        Boy, if my laptop is ever confiscated, that search term is going to raise a few eyebrows.


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