It’s happened. I knew it would sooner or later. I just thought later.
It was a small thing really. Not like I went to the bus stop in my bathrobe. I only did that when my son was in kindergarten.
This was just an innocent little thing.
We were driving recently, admiring the foliage, watching the early leaves fall from their branches. Kids in the car, hubby at the wheel. It was nice.
Then I saw some friends of ours running up our street with their son. They were booking. Really fast. Their faces were red and they were probably racing. Wow!
There was no time to think, no time to prepare a greeting. It was as if my hand took over, pressed the button and rolled down the window.
And then, out it came.
“Slow down, you’re going too fast! Ha Ha Ha! “
I yelled out the window waving madly at this family as we drove past. As they climbed mid sprint up a hill, they turned to look, their faces contorted from determined running faces to the curious What the?
Who is this jerk yelling out the window at us? And what is she saying?
It was just me. Your sort of neighbor who for no apparent reason other than a genetic predisposition to embarrass herself screamed out the car window and nearly gave you all a heart attack.
I sat staring forward for a minute processing what I had just done. My poor kids.
I caught, out of the corner of my eye, the smirk on my husband’s face. Since both hands were on the wheel he couldn’t do that thumb-forefinger L thing on his forehead. But that smirk said it all. He didn’t even need to speak.
I cringed and turned back to see my kids, buckled in their seats, mouths agape. Mortified.
Even my five-year-old knew that mommy just committed a huge social faux pas. My nine-year old skipped past the eye roll and went straight to the uncomfortable laugh. The squirming in his seat. Then he looked at me and inched up his eyebrows, silently asking me why? why? why?
Oh I felt his pain.
It happened in my family, for sure. Our parents embarrassed us for one reason or another. They spoke, they kissed us in front of our friends, they wore the wrong thing, they talked to our friends! They were just being adults and we thought they were totally uncool. We spent a lot of time with our hands shielding our eyes, the universal kid code for “These people don’t belong to me!”
They didn’t understand us at all. How could they? They were not kids and they were soooo old they couldn’t possibly remember what it was like to be a kid.
In reality, they weren’t all that old. And looking back, they were pretty fun parents who did fun things. They only mortified us a little. Then we grew to be enamored by them and all their parental-isms.
For the record, I am not that old. My kids tell me all the time that I am not old. “You’re new Mom!”
And I do remember what it was like to be a kid. Sort of.
So, yes, I had a wee turning-into-my-mother moment. I embarrassed my children like she once did me. I think they’ll get over it. Parents embarrassing their kids is a rite of passage. It’s part of growing for both. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
Sooner or later we are all going to mortify our kids in some way, shape or form. Sooner or later they might cringe at my presence, think my jokes are dumb, meet me at the bus stop with an eye roll, pass up a family movie night at home for a chance to go be with their friends.
Bu then again, maybe not. If it is inevitable, I hope that it will be short-lived like it was in my house growing up.
In the mean time, then, maybe I should go for the gusto.
Maybe I’ll have to rethink the pink fuzzy bathrobe at the bus stop.
Kidding. Totally kidding.