Why 40 is Fun and Scary: Part 2

Subtitle: Planking, Dabbing, and Bottle-Flipping vs. Ripped Jeans, Super Mario, and “the Bangs.”

My youngest son ran to me yesterday and told me to hurry downstairs because my other son was planking in the kitchen. I walked down to find my nine-year-old with his nose pressed into the granite on the island, his body stretched across the gap, and his man-feet millimeters from my fresh fruit on the counter. An image of me wheeling him into the ER explaining that he cracked his skull while planking flashed into my mind.

And that is one of the least annoying trends in my house right now. Dabbing has replaced the Whip and Nae Nae. Bottle-flipping can be heard at all times of the night and day. In a weak and strained moment, my mind began forming the words, What is wrong with kids today? So these things are now prohibited in our home.

I recovered quickly from the bottle-flipping fury, however, because a couple of years ago I armed my children with an old picture of me. In it, I’m wearing shredded jeans. I have braces, a banana clip, and, of course, bangs that nearly touched heaven.

If I’d been holding a Nintendo controller, it would have been the perfect snapshot of my generation at that time. It’s a great reminder that strange trends cross our path as young people and define us  - good, bad, or silly.

My kids could rightly ask, “Mommy, why did you destroy the ozone layer with Aqua Net?” 

I would have to hang my head and say, “Bangs were a status symbol, my children, like tiny waists in Victorian England, or foot-binding in China, but the opposite. The taller the wall of stiffened hair, the more glory and mystique that surrounded you.”

Of course, we 40 year-olds can take some satisfaction in knowing that when kids today have their own kids they'll have to explain not just planking, but poop emojis, too.

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