At fifty years of age, you might say I’ve been on a few dates in my life. Some were good dates, and some….well let’s just say I wasn’t eagerly waiting by the phone. I can’t say that I remember having a really bad date; or for that matter, a really great date. In fact, most of them escape my memory. That is, until the day my five year old son, Jaren, asked me if he and I could go on a date together.
I wish I could remember how exactly Jaren asked me.
At first, I didn’t take Jaren seriously. I thought the idea would fade but surprisingly, it didn’t. It seemed like this was very important to him. How could I refuse such a lovely offer to go on a special date with my son? I couldn’t. So Jaren and I began to discuss how and where we could have our special date. Jaren has always had a strong personality and likes to be in charge. I put on my thinking cap. I mean, he was only five. We decided to have our date at our condo later in the week. I allowed Jaren to plan most of the evening.
The morning of our “special date night”, we got ready for school and work. Jaren reminded me, “Don’t forget about our date tonight, Momma?” I assured him that I wouldn’t.
Later that evening, I helped Jaren get dinner ready and set the table. We got out the good dishes, along with wine glasses and my cloth embroidered napkins, all at the request of my son. We also set a candle on the table. On the menu was Tyson chicken nuggets and french fries. Since Jaren insisted on preparing our meal, I needed to make it as safe and easy as possible, with my supervision, of course.
Jaren also insisted on picking out my outfit for our date. He had a dress code in mind. It had to be fancy! I waited downstairs while Jaren picked out my clothes and then laid them on my bed. As Jaren strolled down to his bedroom to get ready, I put on my long silver shimmery skirt, an elegant blouse and high heel shoes. I fixed my hair and make-up and waited at my bedroom door. Jaren arrived a few moments later wearing his black dress slacks, a white long sleeve collar shirt and a red clip-on tie. I told him how handsome he looked. He smiled, returned a compliment, took my hand and escorted me downstairs to the dining room.
We gathered our food and the Kool-Aid (we’ll just pretend it is wine for now), and sat down. I lit the candle. Jaren turned on some soft music and then…we prayed. For the first time, my son was not a five year old boy. He was a mature, engaging young man. He ate his food with such grace and etiquette. I thought, “This is not my child.”
After we finished our meal, Jaren asked me to dance. We slowed danced and he carefully dipped me at the end. Afterwards, Jaren escorted me to my room and I thanked him for a lovely evening as I kissed him on his cheek.
My son is fifteen years old now and we have not gone on any dates since then. But I will always remember our special date. That night, my son showed me how a woman should be treated on a date, the kind of respect a woman deserves and the kind of love a woman deserves. I felt beholden to Jaren. That truly was the best date of my life.