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Parents Just CAN’T Be Cool

Are you a person or are you a parent? According to kids, you can't really be both. When my kids were younger (and even still), I heard myself saying things like: You know, I'm actually a person in the world, not just your mother.

I've Got No Shot

When my girls were younger, they always wanted to pick out my clothes if my husband and I were going out. I would pick out something to wear, and they would instantly veto whatever I had on, and give me lots of ideas and options.

Their ideas were always more colorful–and let’s say more interesting–than whatever “boring” clothes I was planning to wear.

I remember asking six-year-old Lauren, “Do I look cool?”

She took a big breath, looked at me with pity, and said “Mom, you can look pretty, and you can look nice. But you could never, ever, EVER look COOL.”


Wait. How do YOU know?

More recently, three or four years ago (they would have been 21, 19, and 16 years old), we were all having dinner, and I started talking about the Fyre Festival.

If you don't remember, the Fyre Festival was supposed to be a high-end luxury music festival, complete with exclusive parties, amazing accommodations in the Bahamas, A-list celebrities and influencers in attendance, celebrity chefs, and more. At least 5,000 people paid hundreds to thousands of dollars for tickets to the debacle.

You can look nice, but you could never, ever, EVER look cool.

Billy McFarland, the main organizer of the festival never paid the locals for all their work, including one Bahamian caterer who dipped into her savings to pay her employees who made meals around the clock on a "good faith contract."

When festival goers arrived, there were hurricane tents, mud, and cold cheese sandwiches. McFarland had also bilked more than 100 investors out of $26 million. He was sentenced to six years in prison but was released in March from a low-security federal prison. There is a fabulous documentary about this on Netflix, called Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.

“Oh my gosh, it’s the craziest story ever,” I said.

“I agree,” said my husband Bryan, “That guy should be in jail." (This conversation happened before McFarland was sentenced.) "It’s ridiculous the way he just kept lying.”

Our three kids almost dropped their forks.

“Mom!” said Sophia, “How do you guys even KNOW about that?”

“Um, it’s everywhere, and your dad and I actually live in the world,” I answered.

They couldn’t get over the fact that we knew about it, had watched the documentary, and worse yet, deigned to have OPINIONS on the subject.

Please. Don't Listen to New Music.

Later in that same dinner, Bryan mentioned how much he liked H.E.R.

“Her music is so creative,” he said. “I bet she cleans up at the Grammy’s this year.”

Your dad and I actually live IN THE WORLD.

Dead silence. They were in shock that we knew who she was and even worse, had HEARD her music.

"Ew. Dad. Where did you hear her music?" Lauren asked.

"Geez, Lauren, it's everywhere," I said. "She is so talented and soulful."

The three of them looked at each other in horror. I guess we are supposed to stick to music recorded before 1997, when our first was born.

It’s funny the way kids often just see parents as mom and dad. The fact that we are people in the world, having a life of our own, is just too weird for them.

Let me know in the comments:

Have you had that experience with your kids? Or do you remember feeling like that about your parents?


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This is an honest blog about growing up in a sports family, being an imperfect parent, taking risks, and the complicated, beautiful mess that is life.

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