When I was a very young child I was embarrassed by my mother. I remember my mom volunteering in my Kindergarten class. At least half of the kids in my class asked me if my mom was my grandma. At the age of 5, in 1977, it didn't occur to me that I should actually be glad that my mother was a little older, a little wiser, and plump enough to give really great hugs. I was embarrassed because my mom was old enough to be the mother of many of my classmate's moms and there was no getting around it.
Becoming a mother to my oldest child at 30, I've never really worried about my daughter being embarrassed by me being so much older than the mothers of her peers. Actually, I've never worried at all that my children would be embarrassed by me. Perhaps, I overestimate my social skills, but in general I know how to mind my manners when I'm in public, etc.
Today, it happened. I embarrassed my oldest daughter for the first time. We were at the skating rink, Elyse's favorite place. She's made a new friend at skating lessons. The new friend's name is Katie, and she's a very sweet girl, 2 years older than Elyse. I was watching Elyse and Katie interact as the two of them were taking off their skates. They were talking about all sorts of things, skate club, math, their favorite subjects, home schooling and the like. As I was telling Elyse to hurry up, that it was time to go, Katie leaned over and gave Elyse a sideways squeeze. I was shocked. I barely know this girl, Elyse barely knows this girl, but Katie obviously likes my daughter enough to give her a hug good- by. As Katie walked away, I said "Elyse, you have a little friend, who likes you!" Then it happened, I got the mother of all eye rolls, accompanied by a "Ssshhhhh MOM, don't embarrass me!" Her reaction only made it worse. I burst out laughing at the top of my lungs, at which point my other two children and several people sitting near by stopped what they were doing to look at me, curious about why I was laughing.
I was laughing because my heart was happy, happy that someone genuinely likes my daughter, happy that having a friend makes my daughter happy, and happy because I know that this is just the beginning of many years to come, in which I will likely embarrass my oldest, daughter, and after all isn't that part of what moms are supposed to do?
I can hardly wait till she brings a boy home for the first time!