More important than peace in the Middle East

Peace treaties? Weapons of mass destruction? Airline security? All of these matters pale in comparison. The return to school is fast upon us, and my children have informed me that the most important issue of the day is this:

Being cool.

Now, I thought I was pretty hip, as mothers go. (Stop laughing.) I remember that back in the day, I once spent half an hour or more considering exactly which Trapper Keeper would vault me to “popular” status, or—at the very least—save me from the torment of my peers. So I know that school supplies can play an important role in the coolness factor.

What I didn’t expect, here in my advanced age and rapidly developing uncoolness, is that
1) Matters of coolness seem to start a lot younger than I remember
2) While notebooks and backpacks are important (which I expected), even things like pencils and erasers are at issue
3) The rules change rapidly and my job is to nod and agree, lest I find myself caught in the crossfire.

And boy, do I feel old and dumb. I had no idea that the erasers I picked off the rack were so completely, horrifying, tragically UNHIP. My daughter seemed to feel genuine pity for my cluelessness.

I’ll confess that the spinning wheel of What’s In Now causes me to try to steer my kids away from character gear, often, because I know that the items they simply must have, today, might be “out,” tomorrow. But in the end, if they campaign for long enough, I may just give in, if they want it that badly. And so far I haven’t seen any lasting scars.

It is getting difficult to continue typing with all of my fingers crossed, though.

[image courtesy of Apples4theteacher.com]

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