Speaking as a parent, I can tell you that EVERYTHING you do and EVERYTHING you say has a profound effect on your children.

For good and for bad, your kids watch and listen to everything. You may not think that they do, but they do. There is no magic formula here -- you just try to do the right thing to instill good character and integrity and pray that they turn out all right.

This is a story about a teenager who has definitely turned out all right. Her name is Tara Roumes. She lives with her family in Roxbury and is a junior at Roxbury High School. Her lifelong friend, Brandon Slater of Succasunna, is a special education student at the New Beginnings School in Fairfield and had never been to a dance before.

Well, check that off the list … thanks to Tara!

Since she was young, Tara has been planning to ask Brandon to her junior prom. But how would she do it? Then it came to her -- Brandon loves LEGOS, so she made a “PROM-POSAL” sign that spelled out “LE-GO to the Prom."

She knocked on his door, sign in hand. Brandon was very excited. The friends shared some laughs and hugs and started making plans for the big night.

The Roxbury High School Junior Prom was held last Friday, April 12 at Zeri’s Inn in Mountain Lakes and there they were, limo ride and all. The couple looked great among their friends from town.

Tara and her brothers Ryan, Craig and Michael have been friends and a great support to Brandon and his family over the years. Brandon’s mom, Sandra, gets emotional when she thinks of how the Roumes family has treated her son.

This story brings a big smile to this traffic reporter’s face and I hope it does the same for you. Tara’s kindness is a testament to being a true friend. Her warmth and caring are a shining example to everyone. Way to go, Tara!

By the way, if Tara’s last name sounds familiar, it is because her mom, Kim Roumes, is the wonderful person who became my living kidney donor. Kim and her husband John have set a great example for their children. It is an extremely proud moment when that example is followed.

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