Before we get into the meat of this thing, let me get something that needs to be said out of the way: I am cool.
Not a cool mom. Not cool for a grown up. Definitely not cool for an old lady. Just straight up cool, no context or qualifiers needed.
I am relatively certain that on just the right day, I can go head to head with the generally cool people in any non-celebrity category in my age bracket and still come out basically cool. Like, basically. And I don’t need my 13 year old to tell me that.
Sure, I appreciate that he knows it (at least when it comes to moms, he thinks that I’m pretty spectacular), but I don’t need him to validate me in this way.
He could work on convincing his dad though, because somehow he still doubts my coolness and thinks that my ability to win a cool battle is largely nonexistent.
He’s wrong, for the record. As per usual.
Despite getting a tenuous, mostly grunted vote of confidence from my son, there are days when my behavior results in him questioning everything about me, including my humanity it seems.
Me: Killing Miley’s Wrecking Ball in the car… I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALLLL.
Dude 1: Do you have to do that?
Me: Do what? I don’t know what you mean.
Dude 1: Your singing or whatever. Do you ever get embarrassed? Because, I swear, it’s like you’re not human.
Me: I’m not… I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALLLL.
Side note: Miley does most things wrong, that song, she did right.
It seems that conversations such as these are increasing in frequency and coated with a heavy dose of side eye as he ages and becomes more delusional like his daddy judgmental of me and my inherent awesome. Nothing I do seems to be just right because everything I do is busy being entirely wrong.
If I cared, it would be sad.
Since I don’t, I think it’s funny. Because I know that one day he will look back on this part of our lives together, turn to me while I’m rubbing Ben Gay on my hip and say, “Mom, you are one seriously cool chick.”
Until then, side eye.
Moms in the Middle: Things Moms Do That Embarrass Their Teen Sons
1. Public displays of affection. Especially between you and their other parent. Like we aren’t supposed to like each other. Let’s not forget, we liked each other plenty before you made an appearance. Any apathy present now is basically your fault.
2. Dancing. I’ve told him time and time again, the running man is a thing. Also, we invented poppin’ and lockin’. I know what I’m doing here.
3. Yelling across a gymnasium filled with his peers to get his attention. Wellllll, if you would check your phone you would know that it’s TIME TO GO!
4. Showing up places unexpected. It’s not that they care that you’re there so much as that you didn’t tell them you were gonna be. Teens don’t like being caught off guard or felt spied upon. But, no one is the boss of me and I do what I want. If I have to have someone banging down the door every single time I step into the bathroom, then you get to suffer through me using my autonomy as a full grown adult to show up at the park to make sure you’re not mackin’ it to some chick on the swings. And I know people don’t say “mackin’ it” anymore, but they should because it’s an awesome way to describe seriously weak pre-teen game.
5. Allowing sibling antics and interaction to occur. Never mind that his sibling is the cute one all the girls like to talk to. I’m guessing at some point he will figure out how to use that in his favor.
6. Bringing up uncomfortable topics. Basically sexy talk. And general discussions about girlfriends. Also, apparently my subtly wagging eyebrows are not as much subtle as they are obvious and embarrassing. I guess next time we pass an adorable young lady in the mall I will wink.
7. Flashy dressing. And by flashy I mean glaringly sloppy or glaringly awesome. Just put on regular denim pants and a sweater when you go to their school to be safe. My jeans with the Poison airbrushed on the backside have been unequivocally banned.
8. Bumpin’ your jams. In the car rider line. I threaten it always, I do it never. But open road is all cars drive by with their boomin’ systems for me. Everyone knows LL Cool J is hard as hell must be played at full volume.
9. Ask them to allow you to photograph them. I feel like tween/teen girls are more into this (lemme tell you how many pics of my pretend daughter I have on my phone right now). Don’t even think about asking my tween Dude to selfie though. He’s not trying to hear that noise.
10. Clap and scream loudly as you run with him up the soccer field.
11. Use slang. Slang from the past is bad. But at least it’s expected. Like no one really gets bent when I say things like da bomb and what’s crackin’. But, on Easter Sunday when I said my meal prep was on fleek he wanted to burst into flames on the spot. So the drama, that kid.
12. Stop doing all of these things. It will result in the largest most frightening side eye of all because you’re supposed to do these things. They are part of your mom duty and he expects them. Stop and he will not only become extremely suspicious but also quite sad. He secretly loves your mildly embarrassing but from a place of love behavior. So keep it coming. And remind him repeatedly that YOU ARE COOL. (Note: If you want to say that with a neck roll and a backwards running man exit, your point wil totally be proven. Ask me how I know this.)