There are certain benchmarks in parenting. First smile, eating solids, potty training. One I enjoyed was when whoever was older was able to help strap the next youngest into their carseat. Then, the wonderful day when all of them could just pile in and buckle themselves in! Yay!  No longer having a diaper bag is a biggie of course ~ although we’ve just switched to backpacks, since all three of mine are little-hoarders-in-the-making and can’t leave the house without enough gear to hike the Himalayas for a month. So… we are still working on that concept.

Anyway, I remember taking Max to see some Disney movie when he was still pretty small. He REALLY liked movies but he loved to repeat LOUDLY every line he could…. throughout the whole movie. It’s pretty embarrassing when it’s your kid, among all the zillions of others in the theater, that is the SUPER loud one. You can totally feel the other parent’s disapproving glares, even in the dark theater.

This leads my mind to remember the whole long list of things these sweet babies have done to humiliate me…. ooops, I mean to help me grow in Character.  It’s OK, they are just kids…Yes, I get that. But mine have a special penchant for (mostly) innocently saying or doing things that are simultaneously hilarious and horrifying/embarrassing. Shortened examples: My child telling the very large man at a store, while patting the mans protruding belly, ‘it looks like you have an entire chicken in your stomach!’. My child standing on the pew at the quietest time of church and SHOUTING ‘I wanna be a Pastor when I grow up Momma! So I can stand up there and tell everyone else what to do!’ My child telling their pre-school Sunday school teacher ‘sorry we are late… My mom was really PISSED OFF at us all for taking forever to get ready and then, she couldn’t find her bra!’.  And these are only a tiny sliver of my collected memories.

This week I sat at the movie theater, enjoying the latest kid flick, surrounded by 6 Liliputians, each of them well behaved, giggling when appropriate, all using their ‘library voices’.  All except for one of us. This time, the loudest and most prolific laughter and gaffaws and snortles are coming from ME …..and it was my kids (and their friends – hahahaha!!) who were totally and completely embarrassed.

Yes, I consider this a little benchmark in my parenting. It means something wonderful is coming… and I’m cackling a little now, just dreaming about it. When they are all teenagers, and I’m so old I don’t give a hoot anylonger, I will revel in finding ways to embarrass the tuna salad right out of them!! Ohhhh… I have ideas people! Yes! I can’t wait!  I should start practicing a little now…. so that by the time ‘boyfriends’ and ‘girlfriends’ come into the picture ~ I’m all kinds of warmed up. Yes, parenting paybacks are awesome.


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