I showed my daughter this picture, and I asked her to guess who they were.  This is how the conversation went:

New Kids On The Block

Daughter: This is hard.  They can’t be movie stars because I don’t recognize any of them.

Me: No.  They are not movie stars,

Daughter: Hmmmm.  Are they models?  I mean, they’re kind of old and not that cute, but they are standing in front of a Macy’s sign.  Do they model for IZOD?

Me: No, they do not model for IZOD.

Daughter: Hmmmm.  Are they ditch diggers out for a night on the town?

Me: Nope.

Daughter: How about professional athletes, like baseball players or something?  Sometimes baseball players dress cheesy in their real lives.

Me: No.  They are not professional athletes.  Do you give up?

Daughter: No.  I deserve at least one more try.

Me: Okay, but make it a good one.

A few moments of silence while she studies the faces of the photograph, looking for something she can recognize.

Daughter: I got it!  They are metro-sexual politicians trying to play it cool in the NYC.

Me: How do you know what metro-sexual is?

Daughter: Mom, please.  I watch TV.  And they are kind of Bieber looking, if you know what I mean.

Me. I had no idea what she meant.  Yeah, I think I do.

Daughter:  Okay, I give up.  Who are they?

Me: They are the New Kids on the Block!

Daughter: Who?

Me: NKOTB.  You know… at this point I start singing….Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, the right stuff, girl-baby, you know you got the right stuff oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

As I sing, daughter’s countenance changes from ignorance to annoyance to a mild sense of horror.

Daughter: No. No, I really don’t.  She looks back at the picture.  How old are they?  Her voice is incredulous.

Me: I don’t know.  They have to be older than me, I imagine.

Daughter: Are they touring?  Again…incredulous.

Me: Yes, and they are packing houses all across America.

Daughter: Rolls her eyes.  No one I know would go to that!

Me: No, but I know people who are going.

Daughter: Are you?  Fear.  I see fear in her eyes.

Me: No, I never liked their music.

Daughter:  Oh good.  Panic is over.

She stares at the picture a moment longer.

Daughter: I think they should change their name to Old Kids Entering Middle-Age.

Me: Laughing.  They totally should.  God know they don’t look like kids anymore.

Now, these were kids!

Now, these were kids!

Later that day, just because I was curious, and I was convinced they look older than I do, I looked up their current ages.  Damn it!  They are all my age or a tiny bit younger!

Just another slap in the face by Father Time and Mother Nature, neither of which is taking my feelings into consideration lately!


Day 281: I Am a Rock Star

Something about my new car makes me feel young.  I have been in a mini-van for so long, playing the role of the prototypical middle-class soccer-mom– diaper bag and car seats, drop off and pick up, schedules and carpools– that I have forgotten what it feels like to be freed from the bonds of conformity.  The mini-van, although completely and utterly functional and utilitarian, had been more of a youth draining experience.  It’s impossible to rock in a mini-van, no matter how loud you turn up the music.

For two weeks, I have had a lighter sense of self, a Bohemian attitude, a non-conformist spirit.  I have kicked the Highlander up to 80 mph, cranked the stereo to a volume I did not know existed, and I have sung and driver-danced and I have felt alive.  Alive!

This morning, coming back from Maggie’s cheerleading game, Carson and I decided to put in the O.A.R. Live at Madison Square Gardens disc.  She went right to Track 3, Hey Girl, one of our favorites.  Being that I was with my children, I had the radio playing at a nice respectable volume.  However, Carson turned it up a little.  She wanted to sing.  I wanted to belt.  I turned it up a little bit more.  By the time it got to the chorus, it was so loud we could barely hear ourselves, but together, we were screaming the words “Be my girl.”  Shouting the words to the song together was completely gratifying.  It reminded me of driving to school with my girlfriend in the eighties: pure, unadulterated joy.  At that moment today, I felt cognizant of how awesome life can be.  The sun was shining; the windows were unrolled, allowing the fresh crisp smells of Fall to waft into the car; and I was jamming with my daughter.  We were laughing and singing and waving our hands, and I am sure to the other motorists on the road, we were despicable, the way we were carrying on.

“Act your age!”  I am sure someone was thinking.  But age is so irrelevant.  It is a function of time progression, yet it cannot define who we are.  At 42 I act and feel 22.  I am a viable, breathing dynamic soul, and I am not going to let the wrinkles around my eyes define me.  I am not going to let the aches in my hips slow me down.  I want to experience and appreciate and welcome what life has to offer, not sit back and observe and wonder what it feels like to live.

Hence, don’t be alarmed when I pull up next to you and I am rocking out.  Maybe, think about trying it.  Next time you are in the car alone, put in your favorite CD  and turn it up, and then turn it up some more.  Sing at the top of your lungs.  Enjoy youth, no matter what age you are– that young rock star is yearning to get out.

Day 272: LMFAO: Mommified

Yeah, Yeah
When a drive on by, moms be jealous of my new ride
No more strollers, no more car seats, just luxury (yeah)
This is how I roll, Highlander, righteous car that goes
It’s got leather seats and room for the stows
And like Angelina Jolie I got the glow

Ah.. Boy look at the car
Ah.. Boy look at that car
I carpool

When I drive down the street (Yeah), This is what I see (ok)
Everybody stops they staring at me
I got style behind the wheel and I ain’t afraid to show it , show it, show it

I drive a car and I know it

When I’m going fast, all the moms watch as I step on the gas
I’m nothing like them, no baby bags, diapers or crying kids (what)
This is how I roll, come on kids its time to go
Mom doesn’t have a van, she’s rockin’ it better than before
Sunglasses, and passengers, we drive to the store (let’s shop)

Ah.. Boy look at the car
Ah.. Boy look at that car
I carpool

Check it out [x2]
Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool cool yeah (X3)
Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool cool yeah, yeah
Do the cool mom
I am the cool mom
No more minivan and I know it