Saturday, July 23, 2011
Are you (going to be) "that" parent?
Everyone can probably recall moments from their childhood that made them cringe. Maybe it was how your parents dressed "so un-cool," said the wrong things in front of your friends, told the story of your birth over and over again while you rolled your eyes, made a habit of showing houseguests the "cute" photo albums of you and your brother-- some sans clothing, or insisted on hiring a clown long after you'd outgrown the circus theme parties.
Let's face it. Parents can't seem to help themselves when it comes to embracing doing things that make them "that" parent. Not necessarily the one that becomes so obnoxious they're kicked off the sidelines of a baseball game, just the one that makes their offspring cringe at times or roll their eyes. And while some things will be unavoidable, it still leaves the question: Are you the parent that embraces this role?
There are a number of moments I wished to become invisible at the expense of a parental faux pax. And I admit that becoming "that" parent is not something I look forward to. The first time Maddox tells me, "Moooom, you're sooo embarassing," I admit my feelings may be a little hurt. Afterall, being the "cool" parent makes one feel better than being the one that makes your offspring want to hide.
But some parents I know embrace the joy of making their kids cringe... just a little. They know they're going to show off baby photos to everyone they know, even after their children are grown. They plan to yell the loudest at sporting events, run on stage to give their kiddo a hug following a great performance, and push their kids into trying hobbies they wouldn't want their friends to know about. They reason that THEY went through it and survived, so their kids will to.
I hope Maddox and I will remain close as he gets older. I hope that we have open communication so he can tell me how he feels without fearing judgement or that I'll somehow jeapardize his trust. Life is tough and even navigating family can be tricky. I just hope to help make that as easy as possible.
What about you? Are you afraid of becoming your parents? Or is being "embarassing" just part of the parental role, one you embrace without apology?