Yesterday was a big day in the life of my daughter. In addition to it being opening weekend for the movie, “Beauty and the Beast” (which I highly recommend seeing), it was also the day my daughter had her first “date”.
You might be wondering why I would put “date” in quotation marks. Well, it’s simple, really. My daughter and her “boyfriend” are both 11 years old. Yes, you read the correctly; 11 years old.
No this isn’t the days of yesteryear, no I’m not accepting her dowry just yet, so let me explain. My daughter, better known as “the lil miss”, on social media, has known this boy for several years and they are friends. Just a couple weeks ago, he got the nerve to ask her to be his “girlfriend”, via note. She accepted.
Part of the reason, we, the parents are indulging this a bit more, is because, her boyfriend’s family will be PCSing (military move), across the country, in a few months’ time. While they will keep in touch, we know not much will progress further than this “date”.
The other mom and I, who are also friends, always joked, they would be each other’s first date and they would go to the movies. Little did we know, her son would get the courage to admit he liked my daughter, and that my daughter would reciprocate the same for him.
Seeing as they are moving, which is breaking my heart at losing another friend, I asked if they had planned on seeing Beauty and the Beast; as I was planning on taking my daughter. We agreed that would be a good idea and give us more time to spend together before the impending move made it more difficult to have free time.
We agreed to meet for lunch, because her boyfriend originally wanted to take her out for a steak dinner. His mom talked him into pizza. Good thing too. One, it’s too pricey for this type of first date and two, my daughter doesn’t like steak. lol
Both families arrived at the pizza place. The boy presented my daughter with a single, long-stemmed, red rose, with a yellow ribbon and a small teddy bear. He told my daughter, he got her a rose because that’s the type of flower in the movie they would be seeing. Insert *AWE* right here. The young couple sat at their own table, while both sets of parents and his sister sat and had their lunch two tables away.
Lunch finished and we all drove to the theater. Let me tell you, when they anticipated, “Beauty and the Beast” being a huge hit, they weren’t wrong. All I can say is, “Thank you, Fandango”! We arrived over an hour early and it was still packed. My daughter’s date was given some money so he could purchase their concession items by himself. Luckily, I was there to give an alternative drink option to the requested slushie, as the machine was out of order.
The kids sat by themselves and the rest of the families sat together. It was cute. They had their space, but not even hand-holding occurred. Everyone had a great time and some memories were made.
While I believe 11 is a bit young to date, there are dating rights of passages that inevitably will come. We, the parents, are teaching our respective children what to expect on this highly chaperoned “date”: thoughtfulness, courtesy and respect topping the list.
After it was over, my daughter and I discussed the day. I let her know, that while she wouldn’t be doing much of this anytime soon; esp. after they move, that this was they way she should expect to be treated for all her dates.
In a world where are kids are growing up so fast, I am more than willing to do a bit of hand-holding and overseeing certain areas of my daughter’s growth. I don’t want her to be naive, but proper exposure is a good thing.