Dakotah had her first "date" on Friday night.
Well, let me clarify...it was the first time Dakotah has gone anywhere with members of the opposite sex outside of school, lol.
I had the honor of escorting her and her friends to the movies on Friday night. Somehow, the ratio ended up at 3 boys, 2 girls.
It was a group date, the only kind Dakotah would be allowed to go on at this point. And, it was supposed to be a group of friends going.
But...among the boys chosen to attend with her was "J"...the love of her life for the last 2 or 3 years. J and Dakotah have officially "gone out" together before...although they have never actually gone anywhere. But, they "dumped" each other sometime last summer, and after a few little spats back and forth, have remained really good friends.
J is very intimidated by me...and to be honest, I kind of like it that way!! I have no idea why he is so nervous around me, except that he is sweet on my daughter. I spend a lot of time at school, and all of the kids know me...we're that house where all the kids congregate, and I'm the "cool" mom because I'm often the taxi, or provider of food and snacks.
But J, well...he's keeping his eye on me. And me him.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about the whole mother/daughter relationship thing as my daughter prepares to barrel through her teen years, full speed ahead.
And I think I've figured a portion of it out. The reason its often so heady between a Mom and her daughter is that, not only is it a time when she is growing up, but its a time when I realize I am growing up too.
What I wish I could have told the kids the other night is that I was silently giggling to myself that I was considered the adult..."The Mom."
It seems like such a short time ago I was starting this whole dating thing, and I remember my first movie like it was yesterday. I remember taking hours to get ready for a date, fussing over what to wear, hoping, hoping, hoping that the boy I liked liked me too.
I don't know where the years went between that first date and Friday night. Honestly, they went by so quickly that I felt 13 all over again as I listened to them giggle, giggle, giggle, in the van, and talk about silly things that kids talk about.
Dakotah probably doesn't realize it, but I was capturing the memories of the night for her, because she, too, will speed through the years, and this magical "first" will be far behind her before she even realizes it.
It was so cute how the boys still sat in the back, and the girls in the middle...how they aren't quite ready to pair up yet.
And it was awesome for me, as a Mom, to have a few moments of quiet privacy with Dakotah after everyone had been dropped off...where she told me all the details of the night that made her swoon.
When "N" sat beside Dakotah at the movie, J picked him up and moved him aside, so he could sit by Dakotah. And sometime during the movie, J mustered up enough courage to tentatively reach out for Dakotah's hand to hold.
I can so vividly remember when that first boy reached for my hand for the first time...my heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest.
I imagine Dakotah felt the same way, as she floated on cloud 9 for the whole weekend.
I'm very lucky she is so open with me about her life. I think if I can keep that going, we will surely make it through the next years relatively unscathed.
And now that I've figured out that I have to let go of the fact that I'm not a teenager anymore, I can embrace my "momminess" and cheer her through these milestones of her life, even while a small part of me wistfully wishes to be transported back there myself.
J and Dakotah are still not "going out," which is way more than fine by me. But, I'm hoping that they are learning to build a really good friendship that will take them through the next few years.
Just remember, I'm watching you, Mister.