Date Night

Last night, the younger boy took his girlfriend to a movie. Actually, I took them both to a movie, since they are fourteen and need a chauffeur in order to go anywhere further than the edge of their respective neighborhoods. I asked him which movie they were going to see, and he replied, “New Moon.” I marveled out loud at how nice a boyfriend he is, to agree to take her to see that, and he replied something along the lines of “I know.”

I dropped them off, and as they walked away from the car towards the ticket office, my mind traveled back to a movie date I had when I was fourteen. My first boyfriend and I were dropped off by his parents, and we saw the James Bond movie “Octopussy”, which cracks me up now that I think about it because it was such an odd choice for two fourteen-year-olds on a movie date. I remember holding hands in the darkness and thinking that the movie was one of the best I’d ever seen–obviously a byproduct of giddily being on a movie date with my first boyfriend, who was holding my hand in the darkness, since everyone knows that “A View To A Kill” (with Duran Duran singing the theme song) was a way better Bond movie.

The next thing I vividly remember is the two of us standing outside the theater doors waiting for his parents. I remember walking alongside the promotional movie posters, and noticing in particular the one for the Rolling Stones movie “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” I remember thinking “eew,” about the Rolling Stones AND the movie title. (Don’t heckle: Mick and crew have since grown on me!)

When his parents picked us up, we didn’t go far; we stopped for ice cream, the four of us, at a sit-down place called “Sprinkles”. While we waited for our sundaes, his parents engaged me in conversation. This wasn’t our first meeting so I wasn’t uncomfortable at all, but I thought his mom acted a little weird, maybe a little too hyper. She had a perma-grin on her face and talked practically non-stop, yet she did let me chime in now and then. They were very nice to me and it was a nice finish to the evening.

Now that I’m on the other side of that table, per se, I recognize the mom’s excited tone of voice and big smile as symptoms of someone who has realized that her son had moved beyond being just friends with a girl and that there were little sparks there. (and I was his first girlfriend, just as he was my first boyfriend)

As the mom, I remember that night, and I think of it now and then, when the younger boy makes plans with his girlfriend. Although there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way his mom acted, these days, something a little lower-key is more accepted. I do my best to be friendly (to both boys’ girlfriends) without going overboard. I don’t do or say anything intentionally to embarrass them. (I know, some of you are going to say, “Well that’s no fun, is it?”) If I’m driving them somewhere, I don’t join the conversation unless they include me, which, as luck would have it, happens often BECAUSE I wait to be included instead of butting in early on.

The way I do it may not work for everybody, but the boys have come to realize that bringing friends around Jim and me is safe. I hope to be the type of mom who is totally welcoming and accepting of anyone our boys introduce to us.

Of course, we’re just starting this dating thing. I’ll keep you posted on my efforts.



  • k a t i e

    It's great that they feel comfortable enough to share their friends (and more special friends). I was always super grateful my mother wasn't one of those "Awww! You guuuuuys!" kind of mums, and didn't but in and try and be my friend's "friend". Of course, my friends all LOVED her, and my boyfriends haven't been afraid of her (much).

    Sounds like you're a respectful AND respected mummy!

  • Anonymous

    Well I hope you and Jim are treated like your Dad and I by your friends which they liked coming to our house. I always felt we had an open door to all. Especially those breakfasts we served. We loved when they did come over cause then we knew where you where and you were OK.

    Grandma W

  • NYC Girl

    You are just awesome! The way you and your hubby are raising your boys reminds me of my parents 🙂 As an adult now I love and appreciate them more than ever…I know your boys will too. My sister and I are closer to our parents now than any of our friends. I feel so lucky.

  • Katie

    You are an awesome mom. I would never feel comfortable enough to let my mom drive me anywhere with a boy – I'd always convince her to take me to the subway and I'd make my own way to meet him! LOL. On the few instances where she had to pick me up, she'd always insist on meeting the boy, before I was ready, and make the STUPIDEST comments ever. (Which she still does to this day, when she meets a guy I'm dating LOL… which isn't often, for obvious reasons!)

    Wish my mom had been more like you!

  • LceeL

    You're right – that's no fun. I love embarrassing my boys – but then, I would NEVER do that to a daughter.

  • Heather

    I think you are a pretty cool mom, and it shows. Your kids respect and love you, enough to include you. That's totally awesome.

  • Michelle

    Ok so obviously I'm way far away from this but umm, the parents don't go watch the movie in the theater, too (in a different row obviously)? I'm so not ready for this.

    That rocks that your kids feel safe with you. You're truly lucky and blessed. And I may need to channel you in a few years 😉

  • Sue

    I'm with Michelle. I don't want to think about dating. But it is coming… soon….I think I'll go cry a little and look at their baby books now….

  • Otter Thomas

    Octopussy for your first date is still cracking me up. I hope when Braden and potential future kids date I can be nice. At least I have plenty of time to work on it.

  • NYCityMama

    octopussy? lol! awesome.

    Well, you are a better mom/person than me. I am not ready…my oldest is 12. (sigh). And because we live in the city no one is waiting for me to drop them off or pick them up from anywhere which means, out the door, goodbye. If I were going to drive AND pick them up that might be a different story…not sure how that whole thing will play out here. Not ready.

  • Mr. Man

    Very sweet story. I hope that I am as mature as you when my daughter starts dating. Currently, she gets a kick out of my telling her what I am going to DO to the first boy that tries to date her (the old cleaning the shotgun trick).

  • Huckdoll

    I just loved this post. Mostly because me first boyfriend's mom was a lady that 15 years later (ugh, oldness) I still remember so fondly and she remains so dear to my heart.

    Like you, she had boys – 3 of them though – and she really enjoyed having a girl around (her son and i were together for 5 years 15-20).

    I still think of her all of the time and this post reminded me of her again <3