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I used to think my parents were embarrassing. As I reflect back on my childhood, I cannot think of anything in particular that stands out as an embarrassment. I think it was their sheer existence. Like many pre-teen girls, and maybe boys too, I wanted the general public to think I was hatched from an egg on my own or dropped on earth by a spaceship. For reasons I still cannot put my finger on, my parents were actually pretty cool, I did not want to be linked to Marian and Bob, especially in PUBLIC.
All this aside, I can distinctly remember going to the mall on any day at any time and demanding to walk 10 paces ahead of or behind them. They could only talk to me if they were purchasing me items, but as soon as we left the store we needed to resume stranger status.
I once lost my jacket- brand new jacket- at an ice skating rink and my dad went back with me the next day to help me look for it. There we were, a 12-ish me and pissed dad digging through the lost and found- KILL ME NOW!
After the birth of Parker, I am constantly reminded of we, the kids, embarrass our parents probably more than they EVER embarrass us...well mostly.
This past weekend we went back to the pumpkin farm where Psizzle rode a pony. (look at me with my links!) It was insanely crowded and wet and muddy making for difficult walking conditions. No problemo. Pmonkey just grabbed random legs, butts...what have you...as he passed by total strangers. He got to know some of these strangers in a very intimate way. I just followed behind him with my head hung in shame and apologized. Why didn't I just pick him up? Well, A: his feet were terribly muddy and B: See A. and I wanted him to burn off some energy. I was embarrassed, but I know this is only the beginning.
Recently a friend who is a high school teacher told me about her 4 year-old granddaughter and their trip to Target. It seems, this adorable little girl asked her Ma to buy her "Kiddie Porn" like she saw her Ma using in school to play bingo. My friend is not evening news-worthy the wee lass meant candy corn, but how do you come back from that? There is no explaining.
My grandmother apparently had big boobs. One day my grandmother took my, at the time, very young cousin, Angel to the grocery store. While my grandmother and Angel were waiting in line for their order to be rung up, my cousin noticed and said out loud, "Gramma, he's looking at your boobs!"
This same cousin could whistle before she could speak. She used to sit on my grandmother’s lap and whistle at people. When the complete strangers would look around to see who fancied them they would see a grown woman with a very young child on her lap. Thinking there is no way the child could have whistled at them, they would look at my grandmother strangely, likely thinking she was a few marbles short.
Another friend was playing with her nephew when he looked at her and said, "You're fat." The boy's mother, my friend's sister, replied that he was being mean and needed to apologize. The sweet child said, "I'm sorry. You're big."
So far I have been able to contain Pman and redirect any potential embarrassment. When P was an infant I used to get embarrassed when he cried in public. I laugh at that now, but I'm so very afraid of what my future holds.