It's a time-honored tradition that parents will embarrass their children. I know that my parents certainly embarrassed me, usually by doing things that were quite benign.

It’s a time-honored tradition that parents will embarrass their children. I know that my parents certainly embarrassed me, usually by doing things that were quite benign.

However, that embarrassment path is definitely a two-way street. It’s probably a good thing my children aren’t here to give you their opinions on that, but wow, have they embarrassed me.

Most of it’s fairly run-of-the-mill stuff that my kids do. Kids are born honest and faithful observers of what goes on around them. They have no tact and they don’t know when to keep quiet.

This past weekend, I planned to pick up our son, Mason, who had spent the week in the southeastern part of Iowa helping my brother-in-law with his glass business. I was meeting my sister at a halfway point in Clear Lake, Iowa.

It seemed simple enough. I had just made the trip the Sunday before and there had been no major catastrophes.

My daughter and I left Sleepy Eye around noon on Saturday. We knew it was windy and rainy, yet we pressed on.

For most of the three-hour trip it was either raining so hard I couldn’t see or the wind was blowing so hard I could barely stay on the road. Either way, neither are conditions I prefer to drive in.

Needless to say, when I finally made it to Clear Lake I was edgy and needed to spend some time outside of the car.

A pit stop at Culvers to eat an early dinner gave me some rest and I began to look forward to the trip home and hearing how my son’s week had gone.

I’m somewhat of a Trip Nazi when I get behind the wheel for a long drive. When I send the call out to pee now or forever hold it–I mean it. To lead by example, I used the bathroom in Culver’s before we left.

The only empty stall available had an issue with cleanliness. Yuck! 

Disgusted at the fact that some people can have total disregard for others in a public restroom, I yanked on the toilet roll dispenser to clean up the mess only to have the cover come lose and land with a very loud clatter on floor between my stall and the one next to it.

I groaned inwardly. When I finished my business I pulled on the toilet paper roll again and this time it hopped from the hook that held it in place (because I had not yet put the cover back on) and rolled out of my stall to the middle of the bathroom.

“Mother of Pearl, what else could go wrong today?” I muttered under my breath. Or at least I thought I had, until I heard some snickering from the stall next door.

Seconds later my daughter burst into the bathroom.

“MOM! What did you DO? Tear the place apart?” 

This time my neighbor outwardly giggled. Initially I had wanted to wait until my stall neighbor had exited the bathroom to put the toilet dispenser back together, but there was no use now since my own daughter had ratted me out.

Once back in the car for the trip home, she kept retelling the story, adding bizarre details that never happened for comedic effect, which means she truly is my daughter.

My 14-year-old son's expression in the retelling of the story clearly indicated that he was glad he hadn’t been part of the story and if he had, he would have wished that an alien spaceship would have kidnapped him and taken him to a galaxy far, far away where alien scientists would have drilled experimental holes into his brain. At least nobody would know that it was HIS mother who is a giant dork.

It was at the very moment when my son did not see the humor in any part of the bathroom debacle as my daughter could barely get through the story without snorting through her nose, I knew I have done my parental duty.