If it were truly humiliating, remembering an embarrassing moment could turn out to be less of a problem than how to stop re-living it. However, those minor incidents tend to disappear from memory. (Or is that repression?)
Sometimes, letting our hair down and admitting we’re not the angels we’d like to be endears us to readers. Recalling our less than finest family moments can bring the chronicles of your family’s history to live. (See also Roses Aren’t Perfect – Family Stories Shouldn’t be Either.)
Writing things down—or at least making notes—really helps.
An Embarrassing Moment of my Own (aka Kids Do the Darnest Things)
Cleaning out our computer armoire that’s become a catch-all for things that we don’t know where else to put, I came upon a book of notes I had when my sons were young. Theoretically, every night I’d record the cute things they did. Truth be told, it usually didn’t get filled in, but I did find one little gem that had escaped my memory.
I wrote it Labor Day weekend when my eldest was about two and a half.
We normally spent our Labor Day’s at Murray Lake (outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan). More often or not, the day turned into a gathering of my hubby’s relatives. In the late afternoon, we’d sit on the wrap-around porch that faced the water, watching last minute skiers and tubers take a final turn around the lake and the folks that had given up on summer dragging their floating docks in.
At the time, I was nursing my six-week old. My older son, at two and a half, wasn’t sure he was a fan of the little squirmy thing that took up so much of his limelight.
Here’s what I wrote:
N. was playing with a small doll pillow. Suddenly, he stuffed it down his shirt and announced to Grandpa Big ‘Un and Uncle Edward and me that he too had a breast bad. It took 10 minutes before Uncle Ed was able to distract him by asking him questions about the Toledo Zoo.
Even after reading the account, I can’t remember it. Nevertheless, the story still makes me smile. I like that I found it humorous enough to write it down at the time. The forgotten context and background of the story gives me warm fuzzies.
We called my dad Grandpa Big ‘Un. I’d completely forgotten that my parents spent that Labor Day weekend with me and that my husband’s family welcomed them to their annual celebration. I’d forgotten that my Dad had gotten to know my husband’s Uncle Edward.
Most of all, I like knowing that my parents, who died when the kids were two and four years old respectively, got to enjoy a few minutes of laughter at my expense. (Thought I doubt it ten minutes passed. That was probably my embarrassment speaking.)
When you remember an embarrassing moment, go ahead and write it down. Just a few short notes can help you reconstruct fun family moments. I’d love to hear a story or two in the comments!