I check Sahana’s email randomly. She knows she shouldn’t have any expectations of privacy in social media till she is 18. Her journal, on the other hand, is her own, private sanctity, safe from her mother’s prying eyes. I respect her privacy in her journal completely. To be truthful, I am afraid to look at it, since she vents her anger in her journal and that anger, frustration is generally directed at me!
Anyway, one of her friends wrote ‘Ummmmm…so…like….why can’t you come on so and so date?’ I had heard Sahana and her peers talk that way, but to be writing like that? Isn’t that more typing? Who likes to type in today’s world of ‘idk’ and ‘ikr’ ‘omg’ and ‘rofl’? While we are talking about typing. I have seen Sahana delete the word “the” to replace it with “da”. Intrigued, I asked her the reason for doing that extra work. Her response was friends would think she had gone all “propah” on them!
I have spoken to other mothers, too many ‘like’s ‘ummmmmm’s, irritate them to no end. Why do they need to say so many ‘like’ s! Strangely enough, I find this kind of talk endearing and very age specific. Yes, I know, I may be the only one! I have seen most of them use such language with each other, but when they talk to grown ups, or give a presentation in class or in debate seminars they talk like we do…I was going to use the word normally, but as Sahana always points out ‘normal is relative’! The point is, this lingo is more of a bond between teenagers. By speaking this way they conform, belong and feel close to peers ‘I get you, bromie (bro and homie, in case you were wondering) even if the world doesn’t! I talk like you, I think LMFAO, Nicki Minaj and others of the same ilk are totally cool, even if the parents frown upon the lyrics!’ They will probably speak this way at age 12, 13 maybe 14 and then move on to becoming young women and men of grace and poise. Too much?
I am exactly where my mother was about twenty years ago.(I am becoming my mother, help!) She looked on indulgently as I used words which were ‘in’ those days. Through me she stayed connected with the happening lingo, fashion, music, cinema. She, in a way, made fun of certain words I used, my attitude, my long earrings, my elaborate bindis but I could tell she was slightly in awe of the young woman who I had become from the little girl who she held hands with, not too long ago. I was becoming a person in my own rights and while she missed her baby girl, there was the admiration and wonder in her eyes of the metamorphosis. I understand her now.
I joke around with Sahana about how she and her friends talk, the music she listens to, the gossip of celebrity that she brings home, yet in my mind I am in awe of this young woman I see emerging from my curly-haired baby girl. Already she teaches me how to write documents on google doc, she recommends books that I might like, discusses Pride and Prejudice, talks to her friends in a very teen agey way which is a desperate but cute attempt to sound mature and grown up!
Recently, I made a huge faux pas on Oscar night when I called the famous band Coldplay, Cole Slaw. My very hip and happening contemporaries shook their heads in despair and proclaimed that it is because of people like me our generation is getting a bad rep. After being duly chastised by my daughter and my friends I embarked on a journey to hip dom by listening to Sahana’s favorite songs on you tube. But the lyrics! Oh, the lyrics! I didn’t understand half the things I heard, the other half that I did understand made my face go red! The good thing that came out of all this is my reverence for my daughter’s ability to decipher the undecipherable music that blares from the radio – the raps, the computer generated/modified songs. I try to focus on the lyrics but all I hear is a human voice speaking gibberish. ‘What was that? What did he say?’ Sahana starts singing/rapping/howling along, enunciating each word for her mother’s benefit.
I cannot mask my admiration for my darling child, ‘How do you understand what they say?’
She answers back ‘How do you NOT?’