I am in a really good place right now with Baby Girl, who is 25. I am quite brilliant, give on-point advice and usually have a credit card that’s not at its limit.. I’m woke, y’all (See? I’m even current on my slang).
This stage of motherhood is second only to her early childhood when everything I said was gold. I could explain anything to her … Barney’s purple color, how peanuts get in the M&Ms, Britney Spears’ choice of outfits, NAFTA. I once explained why it rains, using enough phrases I recalled from science class — “relative humidity,” “barometric pressure,” “dew point” — to make my explanation sound plausible. I even threw in references to “Doppler” and “ground clutter” to give my response a high-tech edge — or at least distract her until I could change the subject.
The teen years, though, were something different. For a while there was a lot of eye rolling in our house. (I’m convinced it was watching Baby Girl’s eyeballs spin all those years that led to my chronic vertigo). It was as if, overnight, all the wisdom I’d gathered just fell slap out of my head. One night, I went to sleep a genius and woke up about as sharp as a buttered biscuit.
Thank goodness and gravy, extreme neediness is the cure to eye-rolling, and going off to college brings about extreme neediness.
Now Baby Girl and I are back to the “mama has answers for everything” stage, which is only heightened by the plight of her generation. Poor millennials, bless their bewildered little hearts. It’s all our fault. They spent their youth being treated like a mule on Mule Day and getting prizes for just showing up – and, really, we should have gotten the prizes since we drove them everywhere – only to graduate $50,000 in the hole with no hope of finding a job that doesn’t require an impressive resume and the kind of interview where wearing pajamas is frowned upon.
MattressFirm did a study asking millennials what they think are signs of adulthood. One of the top answers – ranked right after doing laundry and washing dishes – was taking showers. Y’all. We have raised a generation of human beings who are proud of themselves for showering on a regular basis.
I know of more realistic signs of adulthood, like:
- Remembering to send a thank-you note without being reminded. Here in the South we know that’s a sign of someone who’s ready to clip coupons and pay his own co-pay.
- Realizing “The Hills” and “Jersey Shore” weren’t really real reality because nobody is that stupid in real life. Or that tan.
- Learning they can’t get a job until they have experience and they can’t get experience without a job.
- Feeling as though they’re living the lyrics to the “Friends” theme. Because they are.
- Driving a car held together with duct tape because having a car payment would throw off the budget.
- Seeing the parent’s viewpoint in teen movies. They might even be heard saying, “I’d pinch my kid’s head off if she talked to me like that.”
- Understanding why their parents were legit terrified of Barney, the Teletubbies and the Wiggles.
- Getting mad when their moms don’t call them back … because they really, really need us.