I went through my My Dad is an EMBARRASSMENT! stage in Middle School and it peaked when he took me and my brother to a movie and I sat far away from them. Dad didn’t take us to movies regularly like I do my kids, it was rare and special and I was TOO EMBARRASSED TO SIT WITH HIM. I often apologized for being terrible to him later in life and he would just laugh and say I wasn’t that awful of a teenager.
YES I WAS, FATHER. I WAS TERRIBLE.
By high school I realized his “uncoolness” was actually kinda cool and I enjoyed it when he drove my friends places or stayed up chatting with my friends who came over to the house. He didn’t really approve of the idea of “slumber parties” – I think because he just felt like they were outside his skillset. BUT! Sometimes there were school events that would run late or start early and I would use those events as an “excuse” to have friends spend the night and he could get on board with that. Then there was a PURPOSE to the shenanigans.
I had a few friends he fondly remembered coming over and what he loved was how tickled we would get at the stupidest stuff, like putting together board games. Something about that mundane task would set us off and it would be non-stop laughter and he found it SO BIZARRE but also entertaining and I loved having him around in those moments.
BUT MIDDLE SCHOOL WAS VERY DIFFERENT.
I found him unfun and embarrassing and did not want him around for anything. I WAS A TERRIBLE PERSON.
I tell you all of this because I had my first “Mom, I’m embarrassed because of something you did…” moment this weekend. MY FIRST. I’m certain my kids have found me embarrassing, but they’ve shielded me from that knowledge until this weekend. See, I posted a picture of the chaffing line under my boobs from sweating on my 15-mile long run on instagram. It wasn’t salacious or anything, but a bunch of Nikki’s friends follow me on instagram (It’s not like Facebook, I don’t get a say, they just follow me) and she saw that they “liked” the photo and she was NOT amused. It has actually bothered her for awhile that her friends follow me because sometimes they see my pictures before they see HERS and she’d rather them see HERS obviously. But this was the icing on the cake of her irritation. It’s bad enough when they see my pictures before hers BUT NOW THEY SEE I SUFFER FROM BOOB CHAFFING.
(SIDENOTE: Almost all of her friends have instagram. They use the DM function to “text” since most of them don’t have phones, but do have iPod touches or tablets which is what Nikki has. Her account is private and we have to approve everyone she lets follow her, but she’s often “texting” her friends via Instagram. It’s a strange thing.)
But this was the first time she’s hinted at being embarrassed by something I’ve done. AND I AM FEELING TERRIBLE FOR DITCHING MY DAD AT THE MOVIE ALL OVER AGAIN.
I know it’s our job to embarrass our kids, so I’m not really too stressed about her reaction. And we had a talk about how I felt about her duck face pictures and how I realized I need to let her do her thing and I won’t interfere and maybe she needs to do the same with me. But it’s definitely a weird conversation to have. In all of the mental preparation I do thinking about how to teach my kids about social media, I never considered the fact that I’d have to defend the way I use social media. I mean, like someone on Facebook pointed out, I’ve been talking about boob sweat since before they were born! Nothing is going to stop me from continuing. IT IS MY BRAND AT THIS POINT.