Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shut Up And Drive!

Photograph of the steering wheel of a 1998 Vol...Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been demoted. If you’re a parent of a teenager, I suspect you have, too. I used to be Almighty MOM -- you know, Queen Bee, Ruler of the Roost, revered by my children, The One Who Could Do No Wrong. Now, in the eyes of my teenager, I am nothing more than The One Who Drives Her Places And Writes Checks.

It’s humiliating, this fall from grace.

I drive the carpool once a week. Three teens and a chauffeur stuffed not-so-comfortably into my Honda Accord. I have long legs and on Tuesdays, I have to move the seat so far up to accommodate the gangly boy behind me that my breasts are practically napping on the steering wheel. (Yet one more sacrifice we mothers make!) I was told, flat out, by my daughter not to say anything in the car and to “just drive.” Me? Not say anything for half an hour? That’s like telling the sun not to shine, or Britney Spears not to be a party whore.

After the initial “hellos” when they all pile in, I’m quiet for about two blocks, then it becomes physically painful NOT to say anything, mostly because NOBODY is saying anything. I am simply AMAZED at how rude and unsociable teens can be to each other! So I start talking, about whatever, asking questions to engage everyone in the car in some reasonable dialogue. My daughter sinks lower into her seat. Her body language says, “Mom, you’re embarrassing me!”

But then . . . it starts to work. I hit on a topic that these teens are interested in. The election was a good one. We learned that Brendan has Republican leanings and that Nick is a pretty funny guy. “Obama in ’08, Biden in ’09,” he jokes. The thick air clears, and the generation gap narrows.

I dare to look over at my daughter, who I’m sure hates me by now. She gives up a smile. Reluctantly. But it’s there.

So, Moms . . . why do you think our teens are so embarrassed of us? I don't get it! I don't look or smell funny, and I wear clean clothes.


Oh, let me explain the video. When my teen read my blog title, she informed me that Rihanna has a song out with the exact, same title, the little copycat. So I thought it would be a fun link. Then I watched the video. I can't BELIEVE our teens are exposed to this crap! Enough with the metaphors about cars and sex! VROOM! VROOM!

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