By Erin Hill / People
May 8, 2015

Working up the courage to ask a date to prom can be nerve-racking – especially with the recent trend of elaborate promposals.

But one Michigan teen decided to go the traditional route for his very non-traditional date – his mom.

Danotiss Smith, an 18-year-old high school senior from Pontiac, Michigan, fulfilled his mother’s lifelong dream when he asked her to go with him to the prom.

“I was flattered,” Belinda Smith told ABC News. “I asked him, ‘You don’t want to ask someone else? You don’t have a special friend, someone cool that you can have fun with?’ I’m still elated. I’m just so happy that he wanted to share his day with me.”

Danotiss was inspired to invite his mom to the school dance after learning the heartbreaking reason she couldn’t attend her own prom 24 years ago.

When Belinda was 11 years old, her mother died from leukemia, and she and her siblings moved in with her grandmother. Times were tough for the family, and when Belinda was in high school, she couldn’t afford a lot of extra expenses.

“A couple people asked me to prom, but I had to turn them down because I didn’t have the funds to purchase a dress,” Belinda, 41, told WDIV-Detroit. “It was hard. I went home and cried because I wanted to go.”

Now, decades later, her wish is finally coming true.

“I am overwhelmed,” she told the station. “I’ve been waiting for this.”

“She teared up,” Danotiss said of when he asked his mother to prom.

“Some of my friends said it was kind of weird,” he added, laughing. “But some of them said it was kind of cool. Nobody has ever done that before.”

A beautiful orange dress has been purchased, and Danotiss says he will give his mom a white corsage when the two head to the Waterford Kettering High School prom together on Friday, according to ABC News.

“I just want her to enjoy it,” he said. “I want her to get that experience and have some fun.”

This article originally appeared on People.com

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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