Saturday, November 13, 2010

Standing out in the crowd

When I was a kid I was immensely shy and reserved. I did what I could to not bring attention to myself -- short of dressing head to toe in gray, to blend into the cinder block walls at school.
Now, it seems like I am constantly doing something ridiculous to draw attention to myself.

One of the more memorable moments that comes to mind happened a couple of years ago. I promised my youngest that I would go to her Halloween parade/party at school. But before I left the house that afternoon, I decided to surprise her and dress up, and I came up with an insane idea of what to wear. I struggled to get the elaborate outfit on, and then drove to the school. I shuffled through the maze of halls to get to her classroom -- of course her room was just about the farthest from the main entrance that you could possibly get.
Ready for the big reveal, I stepped into the doorway.
The room got quiet as they all stared.
The look on my daughter's face was priceless. "Oh god."
Another child asked, "Is that your mom?"
My daughter answered in a tiny deflated voice, "Yes."
There I stood, in full scuba attire: wetsuit, flippers, mask and snorkel. It was my husband's suit from at least twenty years earlier. It was the last thing she would've expected. And even with my fogged up face mask and sounding like Darth Vader as I breathed through the snorkel, she knew it was me.

But the funniest part of the whole thing was that none of the other parents were dressed up. All the uppity moms were lined up with their knitted Halloween/fall sweater vests.
And then there was ME.

Over the years my children have grown immune to my eccentricities, and now it is nearly impossible to embarrass them. Not that I haven't tried.

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