By BECKY ANDREWS, Wilson Living Magazine
Many of us know someone who has perfect children. The children who never talk back (even though they started talking in complete sentences at 6 weeks old), their children began reading and could recite all the amendments of the Bill of Rights by age 2, could kick a field goal from the 50 yard line at 8 years old and now colleges from the top 10 have already reserved a full scholarship for Junior.
Of course all of the above is according to the parents, who tend to embellish at times. These are also the parents that you can tell take secret joy in discovering that your youngest didn’t learn how to tie his shoes until 2nd grade.
This type of parent never seemed to faze my mother. I’d like to think she was so incredibly open about the failings of her children because she simply liked to make others feel better. But part of me knows better. When I would ask her why she insisted on telling the parents of my classmates I sucked my thumb until age 11 she’d reply,
“But look at you now. You don’t suck your thumb anymore.”
She did this quite often. We (my brothers and sisters) like to reminisce about how mom introduced us to complete strangers. It always went a little like this,
“This is my oldest son, Mike. He’s very creative and so sensitive. Don’t offer him a drink though. He’s a recovering alcoholic.”
“This is Laura. She’s our oldest daughter. Isn’t she pretty? You should have seen her before she gained all that weight from the kids. Talk about a knockout.”
“Here’s Kathy. She is the most reliable of our children. I don’t know where she got her chest from though.”
I cringed when it was my turn. Out of all of my brothers and sisters, I provided the most entertainment and disappointment so there was no telling where this introduction would go.
“Becky is our fourth. Look how pretty her teeth are. Thank God she quit sucking her thumb.” “She’s on another diet so keep an eye on your dessert. She has a sweet tooth, don’t you, Beck?”
“This is Christy. She’s our baby girl. She’s also agnostic. You know, she doesn’t believe in God. I’ve told her about hell. But, she’s my stubborn child. I guess some of us just have to learn the hard way.”
“And our baby, Tony. He’s just precious. You’d never know his big sisters dressed him in drag when he was little. Although, who knows what he’s wearing under those jeans.”
I can’t wait to create similar memories for my children. Some traditions should never be lost.
Email your embarrassing stories to Becky! firstname.lastname@example.org