There’s a new Italian restaurant in our neighborhood. We drove by on our way home from the grocery store and I said aloud, “I’d like to try that place.” My son immediately chimed in, “me too!” I reminded him that his palette of hot dogs and chicken nuggets would not be pleased with their Italian fare. We laughed and my heart sank just a bit. It looks so romantic on the inside and I really want to go on a date and share a bowl of spaghetti, Lady & the Tramp style; corner booth, candlelight, violins… you get the picture.
As I came back to reality I had an idea, I turned to Adam and asked, “Hey, would you ever want to go on a date with me?” “Heck yeah!” he shouted! (we don’t condone that language but it was so flattering that he was THAT excited to go to dinner with me). “Ok, Adam, it’s a date!”
We made plans to do dinner that night. Adam chose a Mexican restaurant that he really likes that serves nuggets and fries. It’s a great date place, and I can’t pass up chips and salsa, so it was settled.
I hadn’t really thought about it before, but why not date my son? He’s only six, but is it ever to soon to start teaching him chivalry and how to be a gentleman? We talked about how it makes a girl feel special to get flowers and that opening doors is the nice thing to do. Then it dawned on me- more than gestures of affirmation, I should really teach my son how to communicate. In this day and age with cell phones and apps, nobody really has to talk to anybody anymore. You’ve seen it, the couple on their phones at the restaurant. Not to mention the security of hiding behind a keyboard. I know you’ve experienced this and we are all probably guilty of it, too. How many times have you texted instead of called? It’s so easy to hide behind our phones, and if any of you are single and use a dating app- the struggle is real!
There’s a lost art out there and it’s not just chivalry, it’s verbal communication.
So I took this date experiment one step further and made Adam TALK. First, he had to call me. My mom was in town, so he used her phone and, with her coaching, he asked if I was available and if I would have dinner with him. I loved his confidence! Blame it on his 10000% chance of me saying yes, but he had the courage to ask and I praised him for it. Next, I made him call the restaurant and make a reservation. Now at this point he became reluctant, and I get it, but our kids need to be able to talk to adults. Yes, he could have made a reservation on opentable.com, but I wanted him to talk… to an adult… to a stranger!
So again, with my coaching, we called the restaurant and HE made the reservation. This was getting really fun…. My mom helped Adam pick out a nice outfit (he won’t be picking up his dates looking like a scrub, y’all) and my daughter, Sarah, helped me find a dress. At 6:45 he rang the doorbell with a dozen red roses in hand and the look on his face was PRICELESS! He was beaming, you guys, and my heart was melting. He opened my car door (driver’s side, of course) and with $40 cash in his pocket, we took off.
Once at the restaurant, I told Adam he would have to order for himself. I don’t know if he was just excited or if I had done a great job of building him up, but he did it with no problem. In fact, he was so confident, he ordered too much food. Since this was a lesson in vocal expression, the phone stayed put away. I didn’t even take it out to document the dinner for Instagram. Turns out my son has dreams of going to Mount Rushmore someday. He wanted to know all about the men carved on the rocks and if I’m being honest, I could have really used SIRI right about now. I didn’t have to tell him to ask me questions, it was all pretty organic. He’s six, though, so when he got antsy and wanted to sit over by the fireplace- we did. We moved around the restaurant and the waitstaff was so kinds to entertain our charade. The point is, we talked and to this girl who’s love language is quality time and constant eye contact, and 100% full focus attention (haha), it was the best date of my life.
He proudly slapped those $40 on our ticket and we walked out hand in hand. On our way to the car we stopped to take some pictures and this very attractive man came out of nowhere and asked, “can I help?”. I gladly obliged and told him I was on a date with my son. He said that was the sweetest thing he’d ever heard and he smiled just as big as we were while taking our pictures. I wished I had caught his name, but I guess he assumed I was already taken 😉
My next date night plans are to have Adam take Sarah on a date. I will chaperone, of course, and help them practice people skills with each other. They don’t teach this stuff in public school, you guys, so I believe it’s up to us to give them confidence to speak up. xo!