Monday, April 8, 2013

A Lasting Legacy

Do you ever think about what your legacy will be?  For example, years after you're gone when people consider your life and contribution to society, what will they think?  Will they remember you as a person who dedicated themselves to helping others?  Will they speak of your efforts to make the world a more beautiful place through art or music?  Will they remember you at all?

Cael will be remembered.  I'm sure of it.  Even if he goes on to accomplish nothing of value and simply skates through life with minimal effort, he will make his mark on history, and I know exactly what that mark will be.

Embarrassing his mother.

In the year 2150, long after Cael and I are gone, people will still speak of my ill-fated relationship with my son and the plethora of ways I continuously allowed myself to be humiliated.  Somehow I think Cael's blue eyes and soft curls will lead him to be remembered more favorably than he deserves.  Because that kid, for as much as I love him, can push my buttons with shocking accuracy.

That's nothing new, I know.  You've been there with me as Cael invaded the personal space of people in my own home, or nearly verbally accosted strangers in the supermarket.  But for as much as my son has targeted me with his antics, I hadn't seen it taken out on my loved ones.  Until last Friday.

While getting groceries a few days ago (a task that you'd think I'd avoid, thanks to the aforementioned incident), Papa and I strolled down the aisles at Walmart searching for peach-pineapple salsa.  When I spotted the item, I left the boys in the cart with my Dad so that I could weave between the other shoppers to retrieve the jar in question.  But when I got back to the cart, I cringed to hear the words coming from Cael's mouth.

"Papa, how did you get SO, so old?!"

I jumped on that, of course, in an effort to stop the line of questioning before it continued on to even more painful depths.  But my always understanding and congenial father was happy to answer Cael, and unknowingly opened the door for more embarrassment and a full-blown inquisition. 

"But why is your hair white?"

"Why do you have wrinkles?"

"Does everybody get that old?"

"Do I have to be that old?  I don't want to be that old!"

I knew one thing at that moment:  if Cael didn't stop berating Papa, he wouldn't need to worry about getting any older.

But for as much as my son's comments made me want to crawl under a proverbial rock, I considered that humiliation might just be Cael's forte-- his lasting legacy.  Who knows, maybe he'll tweak that trait into a successful career in comedy or perhaps he'll just stick that skill in his back pocket, only to come out at holidays and family gatherings.  And the supermarket, of course.

So many apologies to you, Papa.  We love you at any age. 

Now to go hide until the shame wears off...

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.