Cool Kids

1950s-greasers-02Dear Son,

Ever since the Sharks challenged the Jets to a dance rumble, kids have been talking about who’s cool and who’s not. Oh heck, it probably started before that. There was probably a group of Neanderthal kids who thought their puma skin loin cloths were better than the Cro-Magnon kids’ leopard skin thongs (they were wrong, leopard skin always wins). Greasers vs. Socs, Jocks and Burnouts, Dauntless vs. Abnegation. The divide between cool and uncool and who decides which camp you fall into…it’s been around for a long time. Longer than me.

How do I know? I’ve been on the inside, I’ve been on the outside, the B side and the flip-side. I was on the outside only to find out that people thought I was on the inside. I have been around the popular block a fair few times. I’m going to let you in on something. There are ways to tell if someone is cool or not, but they’re not what you think. You probably won’t believe me now, but maybe you will someday.

It doesn’t matter what kind of shoes someone is wearing or what kind of computer they have. It doesn’t matter how long or short their hair is or who they’re dating or what kind of music they listen to (well, maybe a little of that) or whether or not they can kick a ball into a net. It doesn’t matter if they have braces or glasses or crutches or freckles or red hair or if they’re tall or short or like boys or girls or both or neither. What’s a cool kid?

Cool kids are kids who love what they do and do what they love, whether it’s math or chess, lacrosse or Michael Flatly river dancing.

Cool kids don’t do things just because someone else tells them to.

Cool kids know that dare is just a word. tumblr_m748xauilV1rxnozfo1_500

Cool kids know that everyone makes mistakes, that everyone deserves a second chance. And sometimes a third.

Cool kids know that everyone has a different idea of what is or isn’t cool.

Cool kids aren’t afraid to stand out, even if it makes them unpopular.

Cool kids know what irony is.

Cool kids stand up for what they believe in.

Cool kids don’t have to wear a certain brand or a certain style or a certain color.

Cool kids don’t have conditions.

Cool kids talk to the new kid because everyone was the new kid once upon a time.

Cool kids aren’t perfect.

Cool kids aren’t the ones with the most friends.

Because nothing…I mean, NOTHING, is a cool as a musical group number
Because nothing…I mean, NOTHING, is a cool as a musical group number

Cool kids aren’t the ones that win everything.

Cool kids know the difference between cool and mean.

Cool kids know that making someone else feel bad is totally uncool.

Cool kids know the difference between noticing differences and exploiting them.

Cool kids care, but not about being cool.

Cool kids usually don’t think they are.

Cool kids believe their parents when their parents tell them it’s not what’s cool that matters, but how you live your life. Down the line anyway.

Someday you’ll see.




12 Comments Add yours

    1. Dina Honour says:

      Thanks! As the big one gets ready to enter middle school soon (otherwise known as HELL), this has been the topic du jour, or du month.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very wise to prepare him with the most important tool – self confidence.


  1. Belonging has such a pull on all of us. It’s too bad it takes so many years to become comfortable with ourselves. Man, I hated junior high and the first couple years of high school, but spending all your free time playing Dungeons and Dragons will do that.


    1. Dina Honour says:

      It’s true. Middle school/junior high is hell. Like top circle/Inferno hell. I was a goth honor student who wanted to stand out but longed to fit in, get asked to the prom, etc.. I thought I was an outcast, I thought I was freaking Ponyboy Curtis. Now when I talk to people from high school they’re like, you were so cool, you always did your own thing. You really can’t’ win. This advice is true. My son won’t listen to it, but it’s true.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. mindfulexpat says:

    Absolutely! Great message! (And definitely easier to believe as an adult than as a middle-schooler…)


    1. Dina Honour says:

      Oh, I don’t think I believed it myself until I was in my 40s. Hindsight and all that. But at least he can’t say I didn’t tell him ;-).


  3. Elyse says:

    Sadly, I think we all only realize this lesson when it no longer really matters to us. Sigh.


    1. Dina Honour says:

      And thus endeth the lesson, Elyse. It’s true. But that is the ultimate definition of cool, is it not? Not caring and being happy in who you are. It’s why I included the little quip about irony. Just when it gets interesting, we’re too freaking menopausal to enjoy it like we should be able to!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Elyse says:

        Life sucks then you die. But you’re WAY COOL afterwards!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    Love that line Dina. “Cool kids believe their parents when their parents tell them it’s not what’s cool that matters, but how you live your life”. Superbe!


    1. Dina Honour says:

      I had to stick that one in there. Of course, this would have made me incredibly uncool when I was a kid–back in the days of the dinosaurs.


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