One of the joys of being a parent is that your kids get to embarrass you. I know for a fact that I embarrassed my parents on several occasions. Just to name a couple…
While we were visiting some Civil War sites that were absolutely full of people, I rather loudly and with a serious look on my face, asked my mom, “Was Grant a Confederate?”
Now this might not see so embarrassing to most parents, but you have to understand mine. My parents were great history buffs, involved in Civil War Skirmishing (which is similar to re-enacting only they shoot at targets not at each other), they worked with historical societies and local schools doing various Civil War programs. THEIR child most definitely should have known that Grant was NOT a Confederate since we ate and breathed the Civil War.
I believe it was on the same vacation where I caused my mom’s face to turn all shades of red for a second time. Due to some plumbing issues, one place we stopped to use the restroom, we were forced to use the men’s room. While we were in there, again, it was a very popular place, I just as loudly asked, “How do you tell the difference between a boy and a girl?” I’m sure there were many women behind the doors of those stalls where snickering and trying not to laugh out loud. The sad part about all this is that I remember vividly asking my mom both of these questions. It isn’t like I was three years old and didn’t know any better.
But, there’s always payback. The tables have now turned and my own children have embarrassed me from time to time. We were in the toy store one day and one of the kids needed to use the restroom. I left the other two standing outside the door since space was cramped. When the child in the bathroom was done, we flushed the toilet and it started making the strangest noise. Then I realized that it wasn’t the toilet it was the fire alarm.
I hurriedly opened the door to see my other two kids standing there, one pointing animatedly at the other. You know those doors that say “Do not open. Alarm will sound”? This is not a lie. An extremely loud alarm will sound. One of my kids, who will remain nameless, had opened the door “just to see what would happen.” Several employees came running over thinking someone was trying to leave the building with an armload of toys. “Yup, it was our fault and there’s no fire.”
Another time I was in the middle of acting in a play performance when one of my kids came running up on stage, followed me around, and sat on my lap when I sat down. I was never so grateful to my High School drama teacher who taught us improv!
When you have kids, your entire life can run on improvisation. We may try to plan everything out to no avail. But truthfully, those are the moments to remember and enjoy.