Parenting from another planet

Looks like I will be turning in my American passport. I’ve been informed I’m not of this country.

Oh, it ratchets up from there. Apparently, I’m not even of this planet.

The notice came via a look. A look from my kids.

Perhaps, Dear Reader, you’ve gotten The Look, as well?

It comes about the time you mention celebrities or movies that were part of the fabric of your youth.

“This guy reminds me of Elton John,” I remarked the other day about a song that came on the radio.

“Ella What?”

“You’ve never heard of Elton John?” I asked unbelievingly.

“Nope.” My kid didn’t even feign interest, not a blip of “Tell me more, Mom.”

“Who’s in the movie?” the other kid asked the other day when I took notice of a new trailer.

“Kevin Costner.”

Blank look.

Not only do my kids have no clue about the media of my youth, they have no interest in how I consumed it.

“Y’know everything hasn’t always been On Demand,” I explained going to the dark place and time of when you actually had to wait for something you wanted to see.

It’s called — wait — big vocabulary word coming, “Anticipation.” (Cue Carly Simon, just don’t bother explaining who she is.)

“If you wanted to watch cartoons you had to get up on Saturday morning.”

“What’s the big deal?” the kids asked. “We can do that.”

“You can watch Saturday, Tuesday at lunch, Thursday night,” I clarified. “Saturday morning was it for us. Sleep in and Scooby-Doo became Scooby-Don’t.”

They put their hands over their ears. “Please stop,” they almost begged. The imagery was scarier than watching “The Exorcist” or “Jaws.”

My attempts at explaining how a mechanical shark kept me from even going in a swimming pool for an entire summer didn’t translate.

The sad thing is I recognized The Look because it’s the same one I gave my parents when they shared the stories of getting their family’s first television set. Or the first time they saw color TV.

That’s why there’s no need to get too frustrated with my “It’s all about now” kids.

I know their day is coming. (Insert revengeful snicker.)

I look at a photo of my daughter. It’s just an everyday photo, her arms draped around two of her friends.

But there clutched in her left hand is her cellphone.

I fast-forward about 30 years from now. Her kids will be laughing at her.

“Ewww! Look at that. What is that in your hand?”

“It was called a ‘cellphone,’ ” she’ll have to explain. “We used it to watch our favorite shows and text our friends.”

Her kids won’t hear a word. They’ll be too busy giving her The Look to launch her to another planet.

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Daryn Kagan is the author of “What’s Possible! 50 True Stories of People Who Dared To Dream They Could Make a Difference.” Email her at Daryn@darynkagan.com.

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