All four of you who noticed I’ve not blogged in a while have my apologies. The holidays, rewrites, and a bout of general writing apathy combined in a swirling vortex of laziness, keeping me away for a while.
So I’m just going to jump right in with a new topic.
It would seem that teenagers (not that I have one, yet) are the leading authorities on embarrassment. It is a scientific fact that kids from the ages of twelve to nineteen are in a perpetual state of mortification brought about by their parents (I’d site my sources, but I have none). What these ambassadors of cool fail to realize—or perhaps they just don’t care—is that they were, in fact, the source of a great deal of embarrassment felt by their loving parents at various times throughout the childhood leading up to their current state of teenagery.
A toddler, especially, has the power to embarrass. Whether it’s an ill-timed tantrum (Like, you know, while you are attempting to shop in an Amish grocery store and your normally mild-mannered and well-behaved child is screaming like a demon spawn, completely inconsolable and drawing stares from patrons and employees alike as you try to rush out of the store with even a shred of dignity remaining), or making boisterous announcements in public (“THAT MAN SMELLS FUNNY!”), our wee ones are quite capable of dishing out undignified moments.
So, fellow parents, what is the most embarrassing thing your child has ever done? For me, there is one moment that wins, hands down. No contest. Most of you who know me have heard this one before, so feel free to return to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.
Allow me to begin my tale of woe…
In the summer of 2009, my husband, son and I traveled to San Diego. My husband had always wanted to attend Comic-Con, and I will gladly jump at any chance to visit So Cal. So off we went, my husband to panel discussions and booth upon booth of entertainment, while our son and I went off on daily adventures with our good friend who had come down from Los Angeles. We went to the zoo, LEGOLAND, Sea World, the beach (another funny story for another time), and had a great time. Our son was about 18 months old at the time, and was quite the little explorer. He had a great time, save the occasional tantrum.
While in San Diego, we stayed at the Comic Con host hotel, which along with being convenient was great for celebrity spotting.
At the time, our son was very into walking by himself—no hand holding, thank you! He just loved to wander around, taking off in random directions while we followed, close on his heels.
On the morning we went to Sea World, my husband was attending a panel discussion, so we were killing a bit of time waiting for him to get back, since he wanted to go with us. Little man and I went off on one of his walking journeys, perhaps more accurately described as me chasing him around journeys, and the San Diego Marriott is perfect for it. It’s a huge hotel with two separate lobby areas, so he could wander to his heart’s content.
As we made our way through the second lobby, I noticed—not five feet away—Allison Mack, one of the stars of Smallville. I glanced away from my son for a moment in a “Wow, that’s Allison Mack,” sort of way, and as I looked back, to my horror; it became painfully clear he was milliseconds away from accosting this guy:
Justin Hartley, another star of Smallville, was crouched down near the floor, talking to his daughter.
It seemed to happen in super-slow-motion, me reaching for my son shouting “Noooooooooo!” as his little hands, palms flat, landed on Mr. Hartley’s back with a thud.
Since we’re talking about the world of Superman, here, I suppose it was more of a KA-POW!
He jumped up and spun around, a surprised look on his face as I began apologizing immediately. It’s all a bit of a blur, but I think it was something like, “OhmygodI’msosososososorry!” I think I even stuck in a “We’re big fans of your show!” (Complete with awkward laughter).
Fortunately, he was very kind, taking the time to crouch back down and talk to my son for a few minutes, asking his name and if we had big plans for the day. He even introduced us to his wife and daughter.
We made a not so gracious exit as he thanked me for watching the show.
At least I managed to get out of earshot before calling my husband and leaving a “Your son just jumped on Green Arrow!” voicemail.
After recently watching an episode of Chuck in which he guest starred, I said to my husband, “Well, I guess it’s official. I will never be able to watch Justin Hartley on TV without thinking about our kid accosting him.”
Such is parenthood.