Sara went on her first date when she was six. Now don’t start getting all excited. We didn’t let her walk out the door and hop on the back of an 8 year old’s 3-speed. (Hey, she had her own bike!) She went on a date with her Daddy. He asked her out very formally, “I’d like the honor of taking you out to dinner.” She was so excited! She dressed in a long sleeveless dress that was lavender and covered with flowers and she wore patent leather shoes and her white sweater. She had matching barettes on the ends of her braids. Her daddy wore a jacket and tie. He held the door for her when they reached the car and he held her seat for her when they reached the Italian restaurant. This was just a Daddy/Daughter thing. I wasn’t invited. They had a wonderful time. “I wanted to show her how she should be treated,” he told me.
Sara and her daddy had several more dates over the years and at 16 we actually allowed her to date people she wasn’t related to! (She could go out in groups before then — she wasn’t on complete lock down!) My daughter is 19 now and she still remembers that first date. During her senior year of high school she wrote a paper about that evening. She said it made her feel special, and she liked that. I like that too. She is special. She deserves to be treated well. (We all do actually.) And she’s one of my favorite people.