Friday, February 14, 2014

An Embarrassment

I got to spend most of my day yesterday at my girls’ school. I dropped them off at school at 7:45. Went back at 10:30 to have lunch with Livie and then was back by 1:00 for O’s party.

While there for lunch, I was walking back from the cafeteria (they call it the auditoria at the girls’ school. I think this is a really stupid word. Sorry. I’m sticking with cafeteria.) with O’s class and we came upon Alyssa’s class as they were making their way from recess (inside, because, yeah, it’s still sub-zero cold here) to the cafeteria for their own lunch.

As Alyssa passed me and her sister, she covered her face, as if too embarrassed by our mere presence to even acknowledge that she knew us.

I’ll admit, it stung. I wondered if she thought she was being cool by acting that way or if she was truly embarrassed by us.

I’d like to stop here and say that I was mature and just let it go, figuring that she’s eleven and in fifth grade and that’s what eleven year old fifth graders do.

Except that’s not how I handled it. Not even close.

On the way home from school, I asked Alyssa if her friend T is embarrassed by her mom. Alyssa was in good spirits and answered quickly and happily, “Yes!”

I then asked, “So, are you guys truly embarrassed by us or do you just say you are because it’s the cool thing to say?”

She replied, “Oh, we’re really embarrassed by you.”

And I still didn’t just let it go. I went on, “Well, the only reason I ask is so I can figure out a way to not embarrass you.”

She shrugged and asked for another Rice Krispy treat.

When we got home, I told Tom about the incident. He told me, “You can’t be bothered by something your obnoxious eleven year old said.”

I shrugged. Sure I can, I thought.

So off we went to gymnastics.

Alyssa’s two hour class gets one break during which the girls come out to the waiting area to get a drink of water. As she passed me and Olivia, I mentioned that we’d be stopping at KFC for chicken on the way home. She smiled and went back to class.

But wait, my obsession with being an embarrassment is not over. After we got the chicken and started home, I asked Alyssa, “Would you rather I not talk to you when you’re out of class for those few minutes?”

She sighed. “Mom, I was kidding about you really embarrassing me. I like feeling embarrassed by you, but I never really do. I just think it’s fun to act embarrassed.”

I let it go with that. Because I’m mature and all.

But seriously, one thing I really, really don’t want to be is an embarrassment to my kids. I can handle being the silly, fun mom or the mean mom who won’t let her fifth grader take her electronic device to school even though every single other kids takes theirs. But I don’t want to be an embarrassment. And if I turn into one, I’d like to figure out what I’m doing to cause it and fix it.

Like I said, I’m so mature and self-confident.

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