Awards Season Makes This Mom Feel Ancient

“Mom, how do you spell ‘tequila?’”

We’re in the back of a bumpy taxi barreling up Third Avenue on the way to school. My 11-year-old daughter is typing on her phone. I have just told her that the song she loves, “Tequila,” was performed at the Grammy Awards, after I forced her to go to sleep.

“What?!” she exclaims. “I missed it?!”

Taxi TV is blasting scenes of Jimmy Fallon interviewing a young actress I don’t recognize. It’s just another manic Monday. (If you get that reference, keep reading.)

I look over as my daughter bops to Dan + Shay. Okay, she is definitely cooler than I am.

The only singer I could easily identify at the Grammys was Dolly Parton. I actually stopped typing up interview questions for my podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” sat back in my desk chair, and started belting out “9 to 5” with Dolly, Miley Cyrus (!), Katy Perry (!!) and the rest of those strangers up there.

“Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’!”

My Pomerian puppy looked up at me like I was nuts, barked in disgust and went back to sleep under my chair.

Meanwhile, my daughter could identify every tattooed performer and short-skirt-wearing pop icon on screen and knew the words to every song. How is that even possible? I limit her screen time! Does pop culture somehow seep into her brain and bypass mine? In US Weekly, the stars grocery shopping who look “just like us” don’t even look familiar. I wouldn’t be able to identify one of them if they rolled over my foot with a grocery cart.

How did this happen?

I used to be pretty with it. I could scan the list of Best Actresses at the Oscars and debate their relative merits. Now, I never see all the nominated films. I’m suddenly in an alternate universe where the only stars I know are the ones winning Lifetime Achievement awards. Jeff Bridges?!

I know that time is passing by and I’m aging. The gray hairs I keep bribing to turn blonde are hard to ignore. But even at 42, I feel so young. I’m in love with my young(er) husband. I’m passionate about my new gig as a podcaster. I travel often. I dance in the kitchen with my four kids. My daughters and I wear the same leggings from Terez with Malibu Farm sweatshirts. I laugh, flirt, dance and party.

Yet pop culture is passing me by. I’m done. Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Dermot Mulroney and Rupert Everett are on the cover of Entertainment Weekly for a 20th reunion photo of “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” 20 years?! Didn’t that just come out?

Since I’ve had kids, time has played tricks on me. I’ve had my head down for the past 12 years, dealing with babies, toddlers, kids, tweens. Now, when I take a look around, I find myself in a strange land with names like Bad Bunny and 21 Savage. Books and articles resonate with me now the way I used to relate to issues plaguing Kelly, Brenda and Donna from 90210. Yes, some shows and movies still hit home. (Mrs. Maisel!) But many have made it clear that I’m not in their target demographic.

Will I ever “feel” my age or will my body just slowly decline without my full cognitive awareness as I’m busy packing school lunches, checking Instagram and filling out permission slips? When did Valentine’s Day become dinner at 6 pm followed by the theater?!

I’m excited to be watching the Oscars in L.A. this weekend because it starts at 5:00 pm there. I can still make my 10:00 pm bedtime!

Okay, fine. I’m hopelessly uncool. But at least my daughter knows what’s what. She’s rooting for Free Solo for Best Documentary. I’ll take her advice.