Over the ages, I’ve watched as my children covered their eyes or gave their parents a swat, because without trying, we’ve embarrassed them. I can remember as the boy and I left our car to enter a Target one day he turned and said, “You’re embarrassing me!” and moved a few feet ahead of me. “How can I embarrass you when we’re not even talking to each other?” I asked, annoyed. Be that as it may, the boy wanted nothing to do with me–until he found some Yugioh cards he wanted. By then, he was no longer embarrassed to be seen with me. I on the other hand….
Dec. 22, 2007: I ran into the school librarian Lynn, one afternoon who stopped to tell something funny about an interaction she had with the boy a few weeks back. As a school family we were all brought together to celebrate a Thanksgiving mass one evening prior to Thanksgiving. The kids however, were instructed to sit with their class, not their parents. Lynn won the lottery–the dubious chore of sitting next to the boy. “Before mass began, the boy leaned over and asked me if I had taken a bath before I came. Since I hadn’t gone home (after school) from arriving in the morning, and had taken a shower before going to school that morning, I said “Yes” The boy replied, “So did Robert and so did I! Imagine, I was naked five minutes ago!!” Needless to say that picture stayed and I chuckled for quite some time. Later at offertory, when the adult choir was singing, the boy tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Is that supposed to sound like a choir of angels?” Thinking that he was having a religious moment, I said “Yes”. The boy said, “It isn’t working”. It took quite a lot to keep myself from laughing out loud. He just cracked me up”.
At the time I wasn’t sure if I should have laughed right along with her or claimed the boy belonged to someone else. Then again there were times he was good for a chuckle. Like the time he asked Sr. Maria if she farted at mass. Yes that’s right, he asked a nun if she passed gas during the sign of peace. An action she denied, however did acknowledge an odor about the area.
A few weeks back, we attended a Bat Mitzvah for one of our neighborhood friends. We had no idea what to expect, having never attended one before, but were excited to learn more about a culture we were unfamiliar with. Dad, the doll and I lasted about two and a half hours, of the three hour service; before we had to leave for another commitment. The boy made it only about a half an hour before he excused himself. Unfortunately, this has become a common occurrence; the boy tends to disappear during any church service, preferring to sit in the bathroom instead. One time when he did not come back to sit with me during mass, I found him holding up the considerable bathroom line, playing on his DSi.
After about 45 minutes, I looked at my husband and smiled “What do you think happened? Did he sneak his DSi in there with him?” “Do you want me to go check on him?” he asked. “Well, considering we haven’t seen him for a while, we should at least find out if he’s still here or if he’s walked over to the Jewish Community Center to watch television” I offered. Ten minutes later my husband returned and smiled. “He’s still in there, claiming his business isn’t done”. We went back to watching the ceremony. The doll leaned over and asked, “Where’s the boy?” “He’s in the bathroom…” I began. Giving me a mocked upset look she replied, “Why does he always do this? I mean at least these chairs are comfortable. How much longer do you think there is in this?” “I don’t know baby” was my best answer for both questions.
The boy never returned to sit with us. His father and I giggled at his apparent lack of interest (or want to hide in the bathroom) in returning to watch his friend make her Bat Mitzvah or learn something about the Jewish religion. Dad and I found the ceremony fascinating; while the doll wondered if sitting through the long ceremony was worth the trip of going to the water park later with the girl. She decided in the end it was.
The boy’s reward for sitting with us for only a half an hour? Endless chatter at him by his mother and a stool softener from his father. Both practical and embarrassing in there own right.