Well, it happened. The moment I always knew would come – but not for another five years, I thought. It was a shock for me but a right of passage for my son.
My first grader was walking out of school laughing with two of his buddies as he walked directly toward me to say hello.
Excited to see him, I said, “Hi Honey, how was your day?”
I then leaned in to give him a kiss hello and he swayed back.
I said, “What, no kiss hello?”
Under his breath he muttered, “I will, just not here, I don’t want to be embarrassed in front of my friends.”
I smiled, winked and acted more at that moment like his wingman than his mother, moving my body to the side and acknowledging his pals with an enthusiastic smile and friendly greeting.
Since when did I become embarrassing? I am blushing at the thought of this being the very beginning of what is to come. My little boy is becoming a big kid, and mom isn’t the coolest show around anymore.
We all remember when we became cooler than our parents. The things we once giggled at them for became totally embarrassing in public. We began to roll our eyes and sigh at the ways our parents did things because they simply weren’t cool anymore. Am I really there already?
I remember trips to the mall walking a few steps ahead of or behind my mom in case I was seen. Asking to be dropped off away from the front of school in middle school – why so I could make people believed I drove myself there?
I love the story my mom tells of my brother, who for a couple of years in elementary school, would ignore my mom whenever she was helping in the classroom. She said it was as if he wanted everyone to believe he had just hatched and therefore had no mother. I have always laughed at that story, but now it’s happening to me!
So what does this mean? What annoying things do I do that might make my son embarrassed?
No more ‘I love you’ notes in his lunchbox at the beginning of the school year?
Forget the all-green lunches on St. Patrick’s Day.
How about cookie-cutter sandwiches, are those out too?
When volunteering at school, do I stop waving at him when I see him walk through the halls? I am now resolutely aware that blowing a kiss is totally out of the question.
But what about field trips? Do I need to find the time to plan to my outfit, making sure I don my “cool mom” clothes? More importantly, do I make sure I have fresh jams in my car when I am field trip driver? Nursery rhymes won’t do?
Are all photos now candid? Will I embarrass him by asking him to stop and say cheese with his toothless grin?
What is to come?
I guess I should pipe down on the sidelines of soccer games and in the baseball bleachers. Bring stand-alone snacks when it’s my turn instead of snack goodie bags ties with curly ribbon. Assume that he is totally over holding my hand in public too.
When we got home that day, I asked him if there were other things I do to embarrass him. He replied earnestly, that there was nothing else… not yet, I thought.
So for now, I will continue to steal those kisses at home and respect his no PDA wishes at school. It won’t be long before my clothes, my music and my entire demeanor will bother him … and his brother and sister alike.
But as I read in a book once, “A child embarrassed by his mother … is just a child who hasn’t lived long enough.”
Perhaps I will get that kiss hello at his college graduation? One can only hope.