About five years ago I took Eldest aside and had a confidential mother-daughter talk. It went something like this:
We need to talk about growing up. See, in a year or two you're going to start thinking that I'm not cool. It's one of those things that happens to teenagers: suddenly their parents are embarrassing and old fashioned and not cool. So I want to tell you right now that when you think I'm not cool... you'll be right! Cool isn't my god. I've built my life around what I think is important, and sometimes those things are cool, and sometimes they're not. So don't get too worked up about whether or not I'm cool. I'm not even trying.I have enough kids that I know that one conversation rarely makes a difference. But can I tell you about my Eldest as she approaches 16? She enjoys opera and literature. She likes her skirts long and swirly, and has only recently taken to wearing jeans. She prefers singing choral music over listening to rock; her abiding love for the past decade has been math. She doesn't seem to need to prove anything to anyone except herself. She is an amazing big sister, and chooses her friends thoughtfully. In my book, all these things are extremely cool. She is interesting, funny, and sweet.
And now I've probably succeeded in embarrassing her, which is not a cool thing for a mother to do. But she is SO awesome that I bet she'll forgive me, some day. I love you, Eldest.