Remember that mom from high school? The mom who always dressed in the latest fashion, drove the nice car and said just the right things? When she came to volunteer at the school dance or the football game, everyone was glad to see her. In fact, they even gathered around her. You may not have been friends with her kids, or even known whose mom she was, but she was definitely THE mom.
I was sure that I was going to be that mom, the cool mom. The mom who could hang out with her kids and their friends. The mom everyone looked up to and came to for advice. My kids wouldn’t tell ME to drop them off around the corner from school and plead with me NOT to walk them to their classrooms. My kids wouldn’t tell me how embarrassing I was or roll their eyes at just about everything I said. That kind of thing would happen to other moms, but not me.
Guess what? That’s not exactly how it turned out, and for the days when I think that maybe I can make it so, I am reminded by a quick, “You’re not wearing that are you?” or a snappy, “Nobody does that anymore.” I felt a little bit of relief the other day when it occurred to me that maybe even that Cool Mom’s kids from high school didn’t think SHE was the cool mom. Maybe there is no such thing within a family.
I was standing in an unusually long line at the grocery store recently, so I picked up one of those trashy gossip magazines. You know I wouldn’t actually buy one, right? Well, inside was an interview with one of the Hollywood A-list actors. When the interviewer asked about her children, and what they thought of her coolness, she just laughed and said, “They’re not impressed in the least. To them I’m just mom, and I mess everything up.”
Now that my kids are off to college, I’m not nearly as concerned with my coolness factor. Lucky for me, I have some great friends who will ask me, “You’re not wearing that, are you?” or suggest, “You may want to re-think that eye shadow!” and keep me from falling directly into the pit of old-ladyness. But is that pit really so bad? There you select your clothes and shoes because they’re comfortable. You watch sappy romantic comedies, and you look forward to listening to Friday night 80’s music on the radio.
I will say that it feels amazingly good when one of said children calls and asks for advice. “Mom, how do I cook dinner in the crock pot like you used to?” or “There’s a girl at work that I really like/hate. What should I do?” These may not be the cool mom questions of my dreams, but they are special to me, nonetheless.
Just to make sure that I don’t rise too high in my perhaps-coolness, I always have my husband to keep me grounded. He has an irrational fear that I will cut my long hair. He says, “Once you cut it, it will never be long again.”
And everyone knows that only old ladies have short hair.