When I was in my 20s, I lived in fear of the day I would embarrass my child for no apparent reason. It did finally happen the other day.
I dropped off the older boy at a band practice prior to his first public band concert. As his mom and brother and I sat in the auditorium waiting for the concert to start, it occured to us that he wouldn't neccesarily know where to meet us, so da missus suggested I go back in and talk to him about it.
I went back to the room -- and it was silent. All 40 pairs of eyes of the kids were listening to the teacher. I couldn't get the boy's attention as he was pretending he didn't see me and feigning interest in the wall in front of him.
I started to call to him, but decided not to. Finally, the teacher said, "Can I help you with something?" and I said, "No, that's okay." and left.
The second I left, the room broke out in hilarious laughter. Da boy was mortified. We explained later that it's a good thing I didn't say, "L, Honey, Daddy's got a clean pair of underpants for you if anything happens."
Instead of feeling horrible and full of self loathing as I had long-imagined I would, I felt kind of amused... even a bit pleased with myself. I had gone through a rite of passage - it's like confirmation, or bar mitzah or something. That's it...a parental bar mitzah.
And...so today, I become a parent of a tween.
I couldn't be more proud....