I took The Oldest Girl on a date today.

Unlike The Boy, I had made arrangements in advance with The Oldest Girl to take her out to dinner and encouraged her to use her gift card from her Mamma G for a new outfit to wear at her first school dance.  To her credit, she was effusive, and even greeted me at the door with a handmade, thank-you card book before we ever left the driveway.

Dinner was pleasant.  Nothing lubricates conversation among the girls in our family like beans and sour cream.  Thank you Chipotle!  Conversation was easy and blessedly without an agenda.  The Oldest girl shocks me with her ability to embrace the moment and create a memorable event from the simplest of things.  It was fun.

Tight tummied, we made the drive to the mall.  In constant gestures of sincere affection, The Oldest Girl maintained physical contact with me at all times.  She held my hand, or tucked her arm around my waist, or pressed her head onto my shoulder.  She delighted in everything that sparkled and was the shiniest pretty in the store.

Her only moment of disappointment was when we found what she considered to be, “The most perfect outfit ever,” too soon and clearly wanted to linger.  I suggested we head over the Claire’s to find a necklace to go with her new look.  She giggled as her enthusiasm made precious faux pearls and the most gauche of rhinestones.

As we headed out through the food court exit, I asked her if she might have enough time to enjoy an ice cream.  We read every flavor on both sides of the counters before she made her selection.  We chatted as she labored over her cup, finally conceding that perhaps she better take the rest home to her sisters and brother.  “They will be so surprised,” she predicted.

Once again, The Oldest Girl pulled me close as we made our way to the parking lot.  She told me, “When I was a little girl, I used to dream about going out to buy an outfit for my first dance!  This was all I ever imagined it could be and more!  It was better than perfect!”

Sometimes math is really simple.  I had one, really thrilled girl who was happy with the outcome of a date with her mamma.  She enjoyed the food, the perks and an unexpected surprise ending.  Her joy was sincere and contagious and equaled the unequivocal success of maternal effort.

The Oldest Girl never left my side, and it was one of the best dates of my entire life.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!