You can tell by the age of The Girl in this post that it was written a while ago. However, every single sentiment remains.The only difference now is she is older and I drink tea.
I have a seven year old girl. She is still in love with baby dolls and pretend play and has been known to switch on “baby” shows when no one is watching. She is delightfully young and probably behind some of her peers as far as pop culture goes. The other day though, I heard her talking to a friend about their boyfriend. Oh dear.
As it turns out I think this boy is completely unaware that he is in a relationship with either one of these girls, so it is still completely innocent but it still has me shaking in my boots a little. I know all moms worry about their little girls growing up. I know every generation thinks their daughters age more quickly than they did. I can distinctly remember my mom criticizing the length of my skirts, much like her father refused to allow her out of the house without straps on her dress. I wore pants and changed in the car. She stitched long gloves over her shoulders to resemble straps and took them off in the car. We were good girls trying to be old and mature girls. It’s a song as old as time.
Still, I feel like girls today are way older way faster than I was and they have a bigger fight than we did. My daughter is only seven and yet I am having a horrible time finding clothes that don’t look like they are meant for seventeen and even at seventeen I may have trouble with her wearing them. I am by no means conservative, but low-rise skinny jeans just have no place in my first-grader’s closet.
As I was driving her to school the other day (in her uniform-thank God) I noticed the high school girls walking along the same route. They were all carrying travel coffee mugs similar to the one I had in my mini-van cup holder. That’s when it hit me-it’s all because of coffee.
My mom drank coffee-black-my whole life and forbade me to even try it until I was about twelve at which point I took one sip and couldn’t spit it out fast enough. I didn’t let coffee touch my lips again until I worked at the mall in high school and the “new” coffee shop opened up. I drank something called a Cafe Caramel which was 90% caramel, 5% whip cream and a whisper of coffee-not even espresso, but coffee. Then I went to college and going for coffee became the cool thing to do. At that point it was mostly a milk shake with a dash of espresso flavor in a place that smelled like Patchouli oil. I drank my coffee for the same reason I drank Amaretto and Zima-because everyone did. I slowly grew up and trained myself to drink black coffee which I now mainline as a way to make it through a day of life as a working mom of three.
This was long before Starbucks and the coffee as dessert phenomena. Now, kids are regulars at coffee shops and have travel coffee mugs to walk to high school. They also carry $1200 handbags and wear Tory Burch ballet flats. They look like all the moms on the sidelines of my kids’ soccer games (except we don’t have $1200 handbags). I have been in the coffee shop near my kids’ school and hear them come in and order black coffee and then see them doctor it with a pack or two of sweetener. These are not lattes and mostly-milk drinks. These kids are drinking like adults; tired, stressed, harried adults.
The coffee has prematurely aged them. The coffee makes them think they are older than they are. The coffee is the slippery slope to skinny jeans and stilettos for the junior high dance. I say it is time for moms and dads to take back the coffee! We need to keep our kids out of the Java Joes of this world and in the candy shops and milk shake stands of yore. If you need an Americana fix, get them a cookie-not a latte. If you can’t live without your cup o’ joe-make it one without whip cream. Let’s not glamorize our coffee. Let’s keep it what it was intended to be-a desperate attempt to make it through a grown up day with our heads on straight. Maybe then our kids will stay younger longer and we can keep the Tory Burch flats for ourselves!
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