Conversation with My Son, "Come on Eileen", and Embarrassment

Louis, my son, is six and quite the individual already. He’s way into the Clone Wars…so much so that when we went sledding, he would scream “INCOMING!” all the way down the hill. He also organizes his action figures all over the house. I find clone troopers peeking out from under the sofa, peering down from the coffee table with guns poised. Then I started to find action figure body parts all over: teeny tiny hands, arms, occasional heads. “Louis? Why are you taking your action figures apart?”

“Duh, Ma. They’ve been in a war. They’re the casualties.” Oh. It’s a little creepy, but I keep telling myself it’s a phase and if anyone saw what I used to do with my Barbie dolls, well, let’s just say I could’ve rewritten the Kama Sutra at age ten. With naked dolls.

Louis also likes facts. He’s not into fiction too much. He prefers science. So when we go to the library and Simone picks out Barney and Wiggles and Strawberry Shortcake, Louis likes to get documentaries.

He’s been watching this one called The Human Machine and is learning about the body. Stuff that freaks me out, fascinates him. On the way to school today (after dropping off his sister at daycare) Louis said, “Hey, ma, did you know that when you feel embarrassment it causes your body to blush? Man, I don’t ever want to feel embarrassment. It sounds like it hurts.”

I then explained that blushing didn’t hurt and feeling embarrassment (while awkward) won’t kill you. (I did not say unless you are sixteen and wearing a white t-shirt at creative writing camp and go canoeing and fall into the river in front of twenty teenager boys and emerge from the water as naked looking as when you take a shower…then you might feel like dying. But I digress.)

Then I turned on the radio to listen to constant updates about the Storm of Death approaching. Instead, Come on Eileen was playing. “Oh, Louis! I love this song!” I immediately started singing. And then I started seat-dancing. And then, well, really I was performing.

Louis said “Man, I do NOT like it when my mom is attracted to a song.”

“Why?” I asked then sang the chorus. “This is where it gets really good, Louis. Come on…turh lura yay…turah lura turah yay!”

“I don’t like it because it’s making you crazy.”

I said, “But you wear overalls and stomp around when you sing this song. It’s awesome.”

“Why would you do that?” asked Louis.

Since I didn’t know the answer, I just sang louder and then heard… “Mom? Mom. Mom! I think I’m feeling that embarrassment thing.”

I paused for a moment, and then I turned up the music and sang a little bit louder. It’s probably good that Louis get used to me embarrassing him. It’s only going to get worse.

I dropped him off at school. He kissed me. “Love you, Mom.”

“Love you too, baby,” I said.

It was a good morning.