We can call it what we’d like to avoid the reality that you are coming of age – testing the waters of what it is to be a young lady – but it was the third grade Valentine’s Day dance and your first date. You knew who you wanted to go with and you didn’t wait for him to ask. A few weeks ago, you announced you had invited him. I asked why that particular boy. You fumbled a bit and then said, “We talk about stuff and he’s always nice to me.”
I held my proud tears back, “Those are lovely reasons to ask a person out.” You beamed.
You were shy to tell your father – afraid he’d say you couldn’t go to the dance with a boy. But he was excited for you.
For the dance your date wore a suit, tie, fedora and sneakers. You chose a sweet springtime floral dress and head band of large silk flowers.
You met at school. He brought you flowers, chocolates and paid your entrance fee. You didn’t leave his side when all the other girls ran off to giggle together.
After the dance, your dad encouraged you to write a thank you note. You did, thanking the boy for a good evening and the chocolates and paying for you and the flowers, “It was a long note, mama.”
He replied in kind and said it was cool you didn’t leave with the other girls.
I hope you have so many good dates in your life, but I know some will suck. However, because your first date was filled with respect and kindness, I expect you won’t put up with less than the best from your suitors. If a third grader can get it right, there’s no excuse for older boys/men not be able to be kind & respectful.
I love you baby and the world can be shitty, people can be awful, but you are a beautiful, powerful soul. Keep seeking out those who are as strong as you and you’ll do good.