A Dating Reminder

"I had explained to Heather what a date was and that it was a big day for me."

Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.

~Author Unknown

I was rather shy growing up, and my somewhat spotty dating record reflected that. But I didn't mind. I was studious, pleasant, and while I wasn't the most popular girl on campus, I certainly was never short of friends in college. Even then, though, I didn't linger much on campus after classes most days. I had a three-year-old niece with whom I spent those extra hours. Heather was so much fun! She was bold and smart and shared her days with me as soon as I walked in the door! Seeing the world through her eyes was, at the very least, entertaining — and at it's very best, educational.

As most families do when they have a toddler around the house, we had all gotten into the habit of reminding Heather of the Childhood Don'ts — reminders that are a part of every child's life: "Don't forget to brush your hair." "Don't go near the oven." "Don't touch the hot water faucet." "Don't forget to put away your toys." She was a quick study, and, like all children, she took great pride in her accomplishments. A lot of what she and I shared together in the evenings were her recollections at the end of the day of what she hadn't done as much as what she had! "I didn't touch the stove today." "I didn't forget to brush my hair this morning."

I finally accepted a date with a guy named Paul at our church. We were going out on the lake in his boat. I was a little nervous, but excited at the same time. I liked Paul and was hoping to make a good impression, even though my dating skills were definitely rusty. I had explained to Heather what a date was and that it was a big day for me. She listened to me wide-eyed and nodded solemnly, signifying she understood how important a date was.

Paul came to the house to pick me up that Saturday afternoon. I was ready, right on time, and as we walked out the front door together, Heather rushed up to me and gave me a big hug goodbye. She stood in the doorway, waving and calling out "Bye!" as Paul opened the car door for me.

What happened next was my own fault, really. I knew Heather took those reminders seriously. And honestly, she had done so well with her potty training she hardly ever had an accident. But like I said, we had all gotten in the habit of reminding her of those Childhood Don'ts. She didn't know any differently. I guess in her three-year-old mind, it was logical to remind me as I was leaving the house, just as I had reminded her many, many times. So it really shouldn't have been such a surprise, but just the same... it was.

As she stood there in the doorway, waving goodbye to me, she called out the most important dating reminder of all:

"Don't tinkle in your panties!"

Cover image via petereleven I Shutterstock

This story is from 
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game: 101 Stories about Looking for Love and Finding Fairytale Romance! © 2011 Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC. All rights reserved.

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