It finally happened.
I'm an embarrassment to my kids.
Like hundreds of generations before, my daughter cringes when I do completely normal things and her friends are around.
We had an appointment the other day, so I picked her up with the car from school. In Germany, most kids ride their bikes to school, and as we crept past her friends riding home, she hissed, "Turn down your music! I don't want my friends to hear."
I didn't get defensive. I didn't say, "Hey, I'm listening to Breaking Benjamin, not The Carpenters or Olivia Newton-John." I just reduced the volume.
Then I told her it's tradition to be embarrassed by your parents. I don't remember my mom embarrassing me, but I can recall more than one mortifying moment caused by my dad.
Most notable was the evening he went after a friend of mine sporting a punk haircut - with a running weed whacker. Or was it a chainsaw?
Either way, a group of us had been having a mellow conversation sometime past midnight, and the sound had suddenly been deafening. We'd been lounging on the floor in my bedroom, for heaven's sake!
Now it's my turn to be the embarrassment. I'm waiting for the day when she begs me not to speak English in front of her friends.
My daughter's only consolation is that I'll probably never be able to rival my dad. Plus, I can at least learn from past experiences.
I'll surely make my own mistakes, but the weed whacker and the chainsaw will both stay out of the house.