In the eyes of the “real world” I’ve always been something of a nerd, geek, whatever the going word is these days. This bothers me much less than it used to. The older I get, the more I see just what it takes to be ‘cool’ in the eyes of the world, the more I’m just as glad to be a nerd, thank you very much. The cost of ‘cool’ is just too high, in my opinion. There are things that matter much more to me than being hip, popular, cool, etc. It’s interesting, too, how I used to care about pop culture and celebrity gossip, but I just find a lot of what’s on those grocery store magazines anymore to be less interesting and more profoundly sad. I have seen some headlines while waiting in the grocery aisle and come home and cried and prayed for the broken lives those headlines represent. I don’t know why anyone would want the limelight. It is not kind, nor is it friendly to a happy, wholesome, holy life. I am happy and content to live a normal, some might even say boring, everyday life, in relative anonymity.
But if the smile on my daughter’s face this morning as we drove to Target, one of our very favorite places, is any indication, then in her eyes I am one cool momma. “Play it loud, Mommy!” she said as I pulled out my iPod and dialed up the ‘Kids’ Music” playlist. We proceeded to go rockin’ down the road with Go Fish booming through the car. Who says you can’t be cool in a minivan? So what if when I shuffle music on my iPod you’re more likely to hear kid music these days than music I would probably rather listen to on any given day? And most people would probably look at us in our minivan singing along with our Go Fish booming away and me in my mom jeans and sneakers and find me uncool in the extreme.
I used to think there was something wrong with me that I don’t have a driving ambition for a career in the ‘real world’. I don’t think that anymore. Really, I think I’m doing what I’m called to do. I don’t have to buy into the lie that I’m not contributing to society by staying home. I also don’t have to buy the lies that what the world offers up as cool and fun and desirable really are. I just have different priorities at this stage in my life. I have learned that there are things that are more important and much more fulfilling than what the gossip magazines and grocery store women’s fashion magazines and Oprah and talk shows say I should I want to be. I’d much rather seek after holiness. I’d much rather take care of my home and to be content to be where I am at this stage of my life. For me, this is where I am called to be. And I am thankful God has provided in such a way and my husband is so supportive that I get the privilege to stay at home. I know that is a blessing, and I do not take it for granted. And this is where I want to be content to be.
And looking in the rearview mirror at my little girl waving her hands in the air and singing along with Go Fish, and knowing my boys feel secure and loved here at home, that makes it worth it to be a little uncool. My boys are getting to the age where Mom doesn’t really seem all that cool, and even seems a little weird sometimes, but they’ve been around enough kids with really ‘cool’ parents to have expressed to us that they are thankful for what we have at home. That matters a lot more than being cool in the long run, I believe. My preschooler, however, still thought we were mighty cool today as she waved her hands in the air and sang along without a care.
And ‘cool’ really is all in the eye of the beholder.