Remember when we were in high school and a bundle of nerves and self consciousness? We’d walk the halls of our school filled with envy, wishing we could be a “cool kid” – to get in with the right crowd and be adored by all. If only we dressed a certain way or could afford a certain accessory or tech gadget. If we were smarter or taller or more athletic or could carry a tune or win that competition – then everything would be different, right?
I’m certain that at some point I got over that notion and realized that “cool” was a mirage that didn’t really exist. Cool is just confidence masquerading as something unattainable. And even if we weren’t completely 100% cool with where we stood in the ranks of High School, we were placated by the knowledge that someday we’d grow up and wouldn’t feel so judged all the time.
Fast forward fifteen years and I’m wondering when someday is coming because the truth is not much has changed. I still catch myself thinking “if I were thinner or made more money or lived in the right school district or drove the right car or…” I still catch myself observing the other moms at pick up after school, wondering why I don’t feel like I fit in.
The rebellious teenager in me refuses to mimic the perceived cool moms – I don’t park in the inconvenient (to me) parking spots just so that we can all sit in our cars and sip our lattes and somehow talk to each other through the windows or osmosis. I don’t want a minivan (I don’t!) even though it means not being able to transport more children than I own (that still seems like an advantage to me actually). And I feel no need to buy certain clothes or whatever just to be more like them. But…
I still find myself on the outside looking in. Envious. I think we all do. I love the point of this video parody of Echosmith’s “Cool Kids” which reminds us that we all feel like we’re not cool or don’t fit in or aren’t doing it right. It’s like the Mommy Wars except it’s all in our own head (though isn’t that often true of the Mommy Wars also?) – this need to defend our life choices and question them all at once. It’s high school all over again.
No matter how much we grow and how old we get, we all still wish we could be like the cool kids. It seems the odds are good that I’ll be an old granny at the Home someday, wishing I had just the right shade of gray or the “cool” floral pantsuit – or that I was better at Bingo or lived on the “cool floor”. We’ll all be vying for the coolest walker and showing off our fancy orthopedic Toms.
If only we could convince ourselves that we already are the cool kid – that we are all cool in our own fantastically unique ways. Just think – if we are alI looking at other moms and thinking they are cool, that means someone is looking at you and thinking it, too. It seems like even though we are all thinking it, nobody is saying it and maybe that’s the problem.