Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. My husband took me out the night before the big day and yes, my 11-year old son took me out on Valentine’s Day. He came to me just before lunch of our homeschool day, asking if I’d join him for dinner at my favorite steakhouse, his treat. What mom could refuse that offer?
I could tell that there were secret discussions going on around the house – lots of whispering. My husband was doing the training. I was told just to show up (I did have to drive us) and enjoy the time. My son asked me what I’d like him to wear. Sigh! My younger two boys never want to dress up. They want to wear athletic shorts and Dri-fit t-shirts all winter. He brought me our most recent family picture and asked if that outfit would work.
He even wore what I always thought were cool dress boots I bought him. So sharp!
A few hours later, I heard my son calling the restaurant. He stumbled over his words as he tried to explain himself. He eventually put in a reservation for two under his formal name, Nathanael. My heart warmed. I wondered what the restaurant was thinking about that call.
We pulled into the restaurant right on time. My son opened the doors for me. He stepped up and gave them his name. I was beaming. Right then, it flashed through my mind what my son might look like as an adult. I imagined looking up at a tall, blond young man. As quickly as the image came, it disappeared. I was here to enjoy the moment with my still barely 5 foot, baby-faced 11 year-old son.
He had been instructed well. “We’d like two waters, one with ice and one without ice – no lemon.” He ordered all our food for us. He was such a gentleman. He had a coupon for a free appetizer (that’s the part I’ve trained him on – never pay retail for anything).
We enjoyed some great one-on-one time with a few selfies taken for memory sake.
I explained to him how this was good training for future dates. He told me that since I’m so much older and already married, it’s not really a date. I explained that it was training for dates that he will have with girls when he gets older. He just smiled shyly, showing me his dimples.
As the restaurant filled up with more and more couples celebrating Valentine’s Day together, I noticed that many eyes were on us – those of the customers and the staff. Again, a proud mama. He took out his Tarheels (GO HEELS) wallet and paid for the meal with his own money. I did help him calculate the tip. He was shocked that the tip was so much. Again, good training.
We walked out to the parking lot and I asked him if he’d teach me how to play Clash Royale (his favorite game) on my phone. It turned into more of him playing and me watching but it was fun – more bonding time. I also learned that his name in the game is “Food.” That explains a lot. Food, just food.
After that, I asked my son what he wanted to do. He said, “I’ll go with you wherever you want to go.”
I nearly fell off my seat. Did my son know what he was saying? Did he know that I often drag my husband to stores on our date nights. Maybe that was part of the training.
“Listen son, your mom usually likes to go to stores after we go out to eat together. I’m sure that your mom would love for you to go with her this time. Just enjoy your time together.”
After a few games of Clash Royale, we went to a local store to look at fabric for my next project. And he joyfully joined me. No grumbling. That’s huge growth for my son. We finished the night off by coming home and playing basketball together in the driveway. I even scored a few points against him.
At the end of our game, he wanted to teach me how to dunk and hang on the rim.
Not quite the training that I was looking for. I don’t anticipate dunking over anyone anytime soon. But I do anticipate that our night together was good training for us both.