I want to be a cool mom. You know, the mom who knows how to wear trendy clothes. The mom who can pick out all the hip songs on the radio, or whatever mobile device the kids are using these days. I have a confession. Shhh, don’t tell my kids. Yes, I founded a growing website and, yes, I make a living off of the internet.

But I am grossly behind in my technology skills, and I’m certainly not as cool as I was in the 1990s.

At least, not to my kids.

And now is the part when I apologize to my dad.

Let’s back up. I decided to play a hype-up song each morning before the kids go to school. It’s part of that fun-mom vibe I’m going for. It started OK on Monday.

“Guys! You have to hear this song, it’s the best,” I told them. “Alexa, please play ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain.”

Alexa is a brand of smart speakers. I ask Alexa a question, and she answers. I’m sure you know what it is because you’re cooler than me.

The song plays. I jump around. The toddler loves it. The 11-year-old laughs. But the 9-year-old isn’t enthused.

“Mom, no, this is so terrible,” she says.

It was funny at first. Mom plays favorite song from her era, watches kids groan in horror. It’s like a rite of passage or something, right? We all want to (lovingly) embarrass our kids.

But by Friday morning, the 9-year-old was over it. Really over it. As in, completely mortified that her mother was so weird.

“Mom! Do not dance like that,” she cried. “Mom, please, this is so awful.”

She wasn’t laughing. She actually was upset. And all I could think about was that one time, when dad’s truck was so loud and so clunky, I made him drop me off behind the school, several blocks away so my friends wouldn’t see me with him or that clunker he was driving.

Thus, this column is an official apology to my dad. Dad, if I could have the same insight at 14 as I do at age 37, I would have said, “Hey, thanks for the ride to school. I’m so glad I didn’t have to get on the bus and I love spending time with you. We should go grab a chocolate doughnut from the grocery store and listen to your favorite ’60s songs on the oldies station. (That same oldies station now plays songs from the ’90s. Go figure.) Will you pick me up after school, too? I’m thankful for you and all you do for our family. I know I’m loved. I love you, too!”

And that’s what I hold onto. This tween/teen thing is an adventure. But if I’m lucky, one day, my 9-year-old will realize just how cool her mom really is.


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