Sara’s First Date

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.


8 thoughts on “Sara’s First Date

  1. Hi there Natalie. Lauren here. I hope you’re doing well. I just found your blog and figured I’d leave you a comment here.

    The first thing I want to tell you about myself is, I’m visually impaired. I can only see out of my left eye and not very well. This was due to a condition called ROP, Retina-opathy of prematurity. That means my retinas got destroyed due to me being born early. I don’t let my visual impairment get me down most of the time though. In fact, I use it to inspire others. I view it as a blessing from God and use it to glorify Him.

    I didn’t have a close knit family like families should be, like GGI portrayed.
    My parents got divorced when I was seven and my mother really didn’t spend any time with me. She chose drugs and alcohol over loving me. My faith in God is what got me through during that time. He was always there for me, just like He is now. I love my Heavenly Father with all my heart and I want nothing more than to please Him. I know He has a plan for me and He’ll reveal it in His time.

    It was about a year or so after I moved in with my Dad that I discovered GGI. I was almost twelve at the time and it was during the summer. I flipped on Nickelodeon after eating breakfast one day and saw it. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I soon grew to love it. GGI gave me hope that not all families were like mine. I just want to say thank you for that again. The first episode I saw was called “Feelings Soup.” I really liked the beginning sequence and the song you sung with Shaina. It’s my fave part.

    Even though I’m twenty-five and turning twenty-six in Feb, I still watch GGI. And I’m not ashamed of it. What can I say? I’m a kid at heart and proud of it!

    I don’t know what kind of books Sara likes to read now that she’s all grown up, but I wrote a book and wanted to share it with you and your family. You can buy it at Borders or online at The book is called Finding Her Courage. It’s a fiction novel about a little girl named Julie and how she recovers from a horse riding accident and learns to ride again.

    Since one of my favorite eps of GGI is “Animal See, Animal Do” due to my own love of horses, I thought you guys would like to read it. I love sharing the gifts God has blessed me with with others.
    May God richly bless you and your family

  2. What a wonderful Valentines message for all of us parents! It is so funny because it is 8.30am this wonderful Valentines Saturday and what are we watching….. Gullah Gullah!!! It is Shania’s 5th Birthday!! Again an episode that not only entertains the little ones but is a reminder to us moms and dads in how important it is to treat our children in a manner that they DESERVE to be treated by not only us but by everyone else who comes into their lives!! The date idea is a great idea and even at 5 my daughter and her daddy go on “dates” they need their time together and me and the two year old stay at home or do something and it is just us!! Thanks for creating this blog it rocks and so do you and your family… Happy Valentines Day everyone!!!

  3. this was a great post and i plan on sending my husband off on a “first date” with our daughter in a couple years. a great point you made and something that stuck for me is how much of an impression it left with sara after all these years. it’s so true that what we do with our children when they are young is who they become and what they carry with them, when they are older. i know parenting is all about trial and error, but the great thing is we can gather all the wonderful ideas and experiences of those around us that we admire. of course putting them to use in a way that works for YOU (YOU, meaning each of us as individuals).

    i say, what did we do before the internet? sometimes i want to just unplug for a while since it can suck you in and at times i feel like it takes away from my time with the little ones. then perspective hits me and i realize without it, we’d have less of a place to find such great resources and the abundant networking of this very thing. moms needing to connect with other moms for the day to day questions that we all are faced with. balance and moderation. that works for everything.

    natalie, thanks for opening this door. i look forward to learning more. and sharing.

  4. It is 3 in the morning and I am up with my restless goddaughter watching Gullah Gullah. As I remembered how much my niece and nephews used to LOVE this show, I became curious about how the cast was doing now after all this time. I was thrilled when I found this website.

    Sara is in the episode we are watching and I was thinking how much she looked like her dad, and then I find this photo and see she is just as cute as ever and still looks like her dad.

    I am proud that my niece and nephews were exposed to such a wonderul show that taught them about respecting individuals and their cultures. They are 19, 20 and 21 now but still love this show, and we can all sing the theme song by hard. I am sure they will share this show with their own children when they become parents.

    • Dear Nikki,
      It’s amazing that little people are still singing along with us and still a part of the Gullah Gullah Island family. Time does fly. We’ll be celebrating Sara’s 20th in a couple of weeks. Ron and I are going to dinner with her and some of her friends, so I can’t get maudlin and cry about my little girl growing up. At least not in front of her!

  5. I just wanted to say how much we love watching Gullah Gullah Island. My grandchildren have it recorded on the DVR and watch it all day the youngest two are three and two years old and know all of the songs by heart. And they long dancing along with the cast too. Do the children that played on the show still keep in touch with you? If so I would love to know what they are doing now. They were all very talented children.

  6. I’ve been reading your blog for about an hour now and can relate to bits and pieces from the death of your father (my condolences)- it wasn’t my father, but my best friend’s grandpa. He was like a grandpa to me. A man filled with hearty-ness and energy, but brain cancer slowly deteriorated him and the life that he had left in him until he peacefully went away from here. I’m happy he’s not in pain anymore, doesn’t have to feel like he’s living a nightmare. I’m glad. I do regret not seeing him while he was sick for over a year, but I was afraid. I didn’t want to remember him sickly and limited. I wanted to hold on to the memories.

    Any who, I’m sorry! I went off and rambled! THIS post reminds me of a middle school social studies teacher that did the exact same thing for me. Not necessarily asking and telling me it would be an honor- that would’ve been creepy! But he took me and another girl-student out and did it to teach us how we should be treated. Have the man open doors for us, pay for our meal scoot the chair in for us… I’ll always remember that! It’s an amazing thing to do and it’s so filling as well. What a great role model your husband is. Your whole family is a blessing!

    Thanks for sharing your life in a blog. With love, Cierra

    • I’m glad you could connect to the stories I’ve shared. Sometimes as I’m rambling away I wonder at the value of it. Thanks, Cierra.

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