Is 13 the new 18?
When I interviewed writer Beth Harpaz, the author of 13 is the new 18 I told her I felt like I was looking at Future Me. Her title comes from the disappearance of awkward adolescence. They are no longer plagued with pimples, crooked teeth and bad hair. The kids look like movie stars these days, and they eat sushi and drink lattes and they are far more sophisticated than you ever were. Which makes the parent's job even harder. You can check out my review of the book here and my talk with the author here.
As the mother of an 11 year old and a 6 year old, I wasn't yet dealing with the music and fashion and attitude that comes with 13, but I could see it coming like a distant storm. The clouds of Axe body spray are gathering and there's new interest in fashion and music. It's coming. Thank goodness her very funny book offered some hope and comfort that we aren't alone. We mothers just don't talk about it with each other enough.
Oh, and don't think I'm off the hook with the younger one, she said. "I've been told 5 is the new 13" What? Yes, she says, the sassy 5 year olds don't want to play with "baby" toys and want to go to the tweener concerts and wear grownup fashions. I hadn't seen that with my boy and she agreed, she hadn't either with her youngest. Maybe because this is a girl phenomenon, she wondered? Oh, and the other one that's even scarier: "25 is the new 17" for all those boomerang kids who move back home.
Geez, Harpaz is scarier than Stephen King.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne