Yesterday was Liam’s first school dance.  The mothers of daughters went shopping for little frocks and spangly sandals.  The mothers of sons lobbied for collared shirts and non-baggy shorts.

My son opted for the prepster equivalent of the full monty: blue blazer, white shirt, khakis. It was suggested to him that he might perhaps be a tad over-dressed, but he insisted, and went off to the dance looking like the world’s smallest CEO.

The fifth grade shindig is a year-end tradition at Liam’s school and it always happens the week before fifth-grade graduation. 5th grade parents are not allowed in the building: the party is chaperoned by 4th grade parents, which makes the 5th graders positively giddy with delight.

The other tradition, of course, is that after 5th graders are dropped off at the doors of the school, the parents head to a local bar to wax nostalgic about their no-longer-young children. The waxing got waxier as the second round of margaritas arrived, and that’s when I got the scoop:

Liam had asked a girl to the dance. I have this information on very good authority (the mother of the girl in question) and on deep, deep background.  Which is to say: a total secret that of course I will take to my grave. And to the internet.

Boys and girls don’t go together to this party; the girl’s mother and I think Liam’s invitation was meant more as an indication of “I like you.”  But there it is, folks: my son is officially withholding information. He never mentioned that he was even thinking about asking a girl to the dance. What’s next? Hiding dope in a film canister? But now that film has gone the way of the dodo, though, where will rebellious children carry their pot? An Altoids tin doesn’t close securely and a Ziploc is too conspicuous. If the Apple folks were really on the ball, they’d invent the iStash: a phone with a little drawer in its base.

My kid gave no indication that he’d been rebuffed; he happily went stag to the party (grudgingly allowing me to escort him to school, as long as I promised not to hold his hand). His silence about The Girl notwithstanding, I should’ve guessed there was more going on because his preparations for the party included a shower (without being nagged first), a request for gel in his hair, AND his first-ever use of deodorant. The kid may not be a very big fifth grader, but he’s been packing a powerful scent these days, sort of eau de long-distance trucker. In fact, maybe that’s why the girl said no…? Hmm. Maybe it’s time for Daddy to explain the link between personal hygiene and getting a date.

All told, yesterday proved to be a big day in our house: we shipped our books and files to Abu Dhabi, and Liam shipped off from the shores of little boy-dom, borne on a waft of pomade, Mennen, and unrequited love.