The week was packed with activities.
We were getting down to the end of the school year and it was looking like we would not be slowing down to stop and smell the roses during the summer. As usual, worried the boys would not have enough to do to keep them busy while school was out, I had completely over-scheduled. I had allowed swim lessons four days a week, two vacations, vacation bible school, and doctor’s visits to fill up the calendar for the next three months.
This was what was on my mind as I shuttled the kids to the first of two roller skating birthday parties during the weekend. My mind was still reeling from the school parties and functions we had attended and I was trying to come to grips that we still had more to come and that I had forgotten to send in C’s baby picture for his teacher’s baby shower.
MJ was M.I.A and it was just me and my boys. It was C’s first roller skating party and I was looking forward to strapping on some skates and teaching him the way I had with E. Rolling down Interstate 40, C asked from the backseat if I was going to stay for the party.
“Well, sure, “I replied, “I thought I would skate with you and E.”
“I don’t want you to stay,” C said, “You’ll embarrass me.”
I’ve always thought of myself as a “cool mom”. I play X-Box, rock out to Ke$ha and Lady Gaga in the car, shoot hoops in the driveway, coach their sports teams, and I do a mean running man.
“What do you mean, I embarrass you?” I asked, my voice raising three octaves. I was also fully aware I was on the verge of completely embarrassing myself.
E has yet to go through the whole, “my parents are embarrassing” phase. At 9, he still runs to hug me in front of all of his friends when I come to volunteer in his class. He will gladly hold my hand in public and join me for a spontaneous robot dance party in front of the Target security cameras.
C is 7, and regularly mortified by the same behavior he so gleefully joined in with not so long ago. The last time I came to volunteer for his class, he quickly came over and grabbed my hand. He pulled me down so he could whisper/hiss in my ear, “DO NOT hug and kiss me.”
Oh, my aching heart!
Since I had already told E that we would be skating, I let C know that I would be staying but if he would like, I would act like I didn’t know him.
“That would be great,” he sighed in relief.
C walked into the party zone ahead of us and found his friends. I rented our skates and helped the boys lace up. C rolled away from me—and promptly fell flat on his hiney.
“Mom,” he called, “I need you!”
I helped him up and asked if he would like me to skate with him.
“No, you will embarrass me. I want one of those,” he said pointing at the skater’s helpers. Made from white PVC plastic piping, they look like walkers on wheels.
I rented one for him and sighed as he haltingly skated off hunched over his crutch.
Apparently skating with your mother is much more humiliating than looking like a retiree on skate night at the convalescent home.
I know that he’s only exerting his independence. There’s worse to come: He’ll walk ahead of me in malls, act like he doesn’t know me in front of his friends, and roll his eyes when I call out “I love you!” But it will get better.
The little guy who wants to act like he doesn’t know me in public is the same one who likes to snuggle in close to read together at night. The boy who begs me not to kiss or hug him in front of his class is the same one who loves to be tickled and his cheeks to be covered in flurberts. So I’ll bide my time and wait him out.
He’ll be back.