Mothers have so many precious opportunities to bond with their children in a myriad of ways, on a daily basis and over the years as they grow up. Of course there are the small-yet-special moments that bring you together--things like hugs, mealtime conversations, and shared experiences. Then you have the "biggies": family vacations enjoyed, holiday traditions honored, life milestones marked. And I'd say as my sons have gotten older, I've had a pretty good run in terms of being able to appreciate and talk about..."stuff" that boys these days consider "cool". We've always had baseball, for example, as a topic of avid interest that we can spend time dissecting and discussing. (Some might even say "ad nauseum"...but clearly they just don't understand how to savor the finer points of America's pastime...in all its 3-hours-per-game, Steroid Era glory...or what have you...) We've even listened to (some of) the same music, mainly on the local Urban Pop station. (I can't resist pointing out that in this particular area I come out far-and-away the victor over Husband, who admits to having no earthly idea who Robin Thicke is...and at one point actually asked, "What the heck's a...Ke$ha?" Hee hee...score one for Mom...)
However...there comes a point in every parent's life when your...let's call it Hipness Quotient...inevitably begins to decline...and there's simply not a whole lot you can do about it. (Sigh...) I suppose for me the sad spiral into...Parental Exile from Popular Land...began when Derek became fascinated by Rap music. After a nice, long interlude in the save haven of Maroon 5/Imagine Dragons/Gym Class Heroes, he suddenly started requesting permission to download songs by Nelly...and Jay Z...and some character called...2 Chainz. (Actually, in some cases he was kidding, as he knows better than to even bother asking if there's not a "clean" version...which seriously limits his options...) So during the American Music Awards the other night, we were able to laugh hysterically/cringe in horror at the train wreck that is Miley Cyrus...singing with a creepy, disturbing, altogether WRONG...CGI cat...lip syncing behind her. But when it came time to present Kendrick Lamar performing his hit song Swimming Pools...I suddenly found myself in the category of: "utterly clueless". That's okay, though, because in my opinion we had more fun mocking the hairstyles of those teen dreams known as One Direction. (Seriously, guys, who told you to do that goofy swoopy-thing? Fire them. Immediately. And by the way, you're bazillionaires--invest in a couple of combs...) Oh, and let's not forget the collective joy of groaning every time Taylor Swift got summoned to the stage. (A.LOT.)
But it took a turn for the much, much worse when we were watching a college basketball game the other night--honestly, I don't even remember the opponents, but our favorite guy was: (totally not making this up, are you ready for it?) Shabazz Napier. How. Freakin'. Awesome. is that name? (FYI: I just Googled, and he's Puerto-Rican-American...which would not have been my first...or second guess, so show's you what I know, right? But I digress...) Anyway, he's an impressive player, and at one point he drained an absolutely gorgeous 3-point shot from loooonnng distance, after which they of course put up a graphic with his stats. Here's what ensued:
Me (reading his totals, thinking I'm making insightful, intelligent commentary) "Oh, he has 20 points...and is 4-for-5 from the 3-point arc!"
Derek (mouth agape, in a tone of voice that is equal parts...horrified...and chastising) "Moooommm, no one says that!" Then he shifted to an ironically snooty, professorial voice to add, "The 3-point arc?" Switching back to a regular tone, he firmly concluded, "It's called...DOWNTOWN!"
Me (in my head) "Oh, do forgive me, my darling son, for channeling my inner SportsCenter anchor, rather than being as....street...as you" (Yeah, my 100% Child of Suburbia)!
Ohhh-kaaaay...so it seems that my credibility with the Millenials--at least those in my household--has plummeted of late. Oh well, it had to happen sooner or later. No one escapes the dreaded Generation Gap forever, right? At least Husband and I have done what we consider to be our solemn duty in exposing our kids to Classic Rock and getting them to like it, so that they can't make too much fun of us one day for continuing to sing along to Journey, Led Zeppelin, Boston, and the like. By that time we'll be too hard-of-hearing to mind the bleeped-out rappers our sons might still be listening to...and we'll be sitting reeeeealllly close to the big-screen TV...to be able to discern when a player nails a stunning long-range shot...from DOWNTOWN!