After hearing from my friend, Julie, that My So-Called Life was available on Hulu – I, like, totally, like, died. For real.
That show, and Angela’s facial expressions, were EVERYTHING when I was in high school. I watched every episode. And even though I did, I couldn’t remember much beyond the feeling I had for the show 20 years later. And how much everyone loved Jordan.
So I dialed it up. And watched as Angela died her hair in the first episode, and glared at her seemingly perfect mom across the dinner table, telling herself in her head all the angsty things teen girls do.
Made me think about how my kids see me. I know they know I’m not perfect. And I remind them constantly that nobody is – even the kid they think is perfect at school or the life they think is perfect on Instagram.
I know a little of what they think. I know they think of me as a fighter. They’ve told me, drawn me pictures that say as much, and even used me and Ron as clues in a password game for the word “fighter.”
Of course, being the dorky adult I am, I took the opportunity to offer “Is the coolest mom ever” when they mentioned my name as a clue. But, I’ll take fighter any day.
I know they think I’m kinda cool, which doesn’t really matter, I guess. But they love the music we listen to, the adventures we take them on, and the things we teach them – from archery to shooting to hiking to building campfires and asking them to navigate us by atlas on road trips.
They’re jealous of the things they miss with us, when we explore without them. They ask our opinions on things and they can’t wait to tell us about a field trip, new social drama at school, or a nugget of knowledge they need to unpack.
They ask us for time and not things. And that’s so so cool. They’ve asked us for adventures to Chile and Hawaii and Yosemite and beyond.
In other words, I don’t think they feel like Angela. Maybe because they’re not teenagers, officially, yet? Maybe because we are actually cool? If cool means they can talk to us, and laugh with us and work out problems with us and actually want to be around us – I’ll take it.
And when my oldest suggested that she and her friend watch My So-Called Life on a sleepover – I about died again. She thought my recommendation was money. And she hadn’t even seen it yet.
I’ll remind her of that later, when she gets predictably angsty.