And I am deriving a sort of sick pleasure from it, I must confess. The best and most delectable example is when I drop Isaac off for his Saturday morning snowboarding lesson with "Chandler" (last name unknown, but I think not "Bing").
As Chandler's first name might suggest, however, he is a too-cool-for-school, early-20s snowboarding instructor with a huge smile and a pompom on his hat whom Isaac idolizes, adores, and talks about all week long:
"I got to be in one-on-one lessons in Little Rippers because no one else signed up so I get to have individual lessons with CHANDLER."
"CHANDLER taught me how to do heel-side and toe-side today."
"CHANDLER took me on the terrain park today."
"CHANDLER taught me how not to snowboard over [air quotes] 'death cookies.'"
"I caught THE SICKEST AIR EVER today with CHANDLER."
So naturally, I love to tell Isaac how much I love him and give him huge hugs and kisses in front of CHANDLER. When I drop him off with CHANDLER, I say "I love you Isaac! Be good! Listen to CHANDLER!"
And then I grab him and hug him hard again and tell him I love him and to be safe, and then in my head I say a silent and increasingly faint atheist prayer that he makes it to CHANDLER's age with his spine intact and with an avalanche not shoved into every orifice of his body.
And he looks at me with a squinty, blushing, rage-filled mortification of a child ten years older his senior; a look that says "Mom, you are mortifying, and in front of CHANDLER no less." Presuming he survives to CHANDLER's age and beyond, Isaac's embarrassment of me is going to be the parental gift that keeps on giving.
I LOVE YOU LITTLE MAN! And remember: don't be embarrassed of me just because I try to embarrass you in front of your awesome snowboarding instructor and I have three (?!) socks that say "I'm going to get shit done . . . later" on them.