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Embarrassed by Mom

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My beautiful firstborn son, who long ago and in a galaxy far, far away, couldn’t get enough of me to the point where my husband had to hold this little three month-old baby boy up so he could still see me every time I showered, this little baby of mine who I’d have to hold on my lap when I had to go to the bathroom because his world would fall apart if I was out of his sight…this same little boy now D.I.E.S. that someone might realize – oh my gawd! – I am his mother. And, how many teens actually DIE of embarrassment? Well, yeah, I know I did go out to get the newspaper in my nightgown and boots that one time, but it was only once.

The cause for this knife straight to my heart? Three words: He Is sixteen.

Sixteen years-old, when everything is about you. Everyone is talking about you. The whole world only notices you. It all has to do with you.

I am no monster. Last time I checked, there was no one-sided hump on my back, and my eyes were evenly sized and equally spaced upon my face. As the joke goes, when I walk down the street, people do not hang out of their cars shouting, “Is it Halloween already?”

I have always taken care to not embarrass my children. But embarrassing them for just being alive? What can I do with that?

There are so many new rules that are spit out by my son at school drop off time. Like bullets, they come at me. “Don’t say bye. Don’t say my name. Don’t wave. Don’t get out of the car. Don’t wait to see that I get in. Don’t shout at me if I forget something in the car. If I fall down flat on my face and my brains spill out, just – keep – going…”

When he’s with me, it’s not like I break into self-choreographed interpretive dance moves upon hearing Adele’s Rolling In The Deep —no matter how much that women slays me. I save that for when I’m alone in the van. I may think about swaying my hands all over my head like, but I don’t do it. Not with him.

I try not to think about how he was once my bald-headed dance partner in the kitchen, 3 a.m.

He makes me wince as I remember how much embarrassment I felt about my own mother when I was a teen. But there was reason for it, right? Or so I thought. I knew back then that any children of mine would never be self conscious that I was their mother. I had too much going for me-spoke English, didn’t dress in a costume from the old country. I never thought to try and imitate Elizabeth Taylor. What kid wouldn’t be proud of me as their mama? I was cool, with it, American, and had no delusions of grandeur.

You can see how knocked off my feet I am by this new role in my life: that of social pariah of the village. Our morning drives to school went like this, “Don’t drive right up to the door, mom. Just slow down, and I’ll get out, DO NOT say bye to me so the world can hear it. I mean it. I MEAN IT.”

Meek little me, “C-c-can I look at you? For a minute? I promise not to make eye contact….”

“No. See? SEE? This is what I mean. Just drop me off. Just. Go. Home. Go back to the door built into a tree house on the swamp, Princess Fiona. Go back from whence you came.”

I drop him off far enough from the school’s front doors, as he requests. I slowly creeper drive away, sunglasses covering my eyes, so he can’t see that I’m still watching as my handsome, tall boy walks away from me…without even one glance back in my direction.

He walks away, taking my heart along with him. I breathe deep, and pat myself on the back, congratulating myself on my verbal restrain. How badly I want to screech on the brakes – good and loud, roll down the window and SHOUT, “embarrassing? you want to see embarrassing? How’s this: _”BYE HONEY I LOVE YOU AND DON’T FORGET TO WEAR YOUR CUP AT PRACTICE TODAY BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT TO PROTECT YOUR TESTICLES!"_

You know, I think I might just call it his nutty buddy, for good measure.

Alexandra writes of life as the mother of three boys on her personal blog, Good Day, Regular People.

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