My oldest daughter started high school this year. In so many ways I've been both happy and fearful for her. Happy and proud because she's entering high school an honor roll student, but nervous and fearful because, well, it's high school. With a few weeks of school under our belt I can see that she's already different somehow. She's becoming more independent. She's becoming her own person. It's a beautiful thing. What I didn't expect however, is how I would feel through all these changes. I'm suddenly feeling . . . old.
It seems like just yesterday I was roaming the halls of my own high school, navigating my way between classes and feeling like one of the cool kids. I had tons of friends, wore the right clothes and did okay in my classes, I guess. What I remember most was that I loved music. All kinds. Nirvana rocked my world with "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Boys II Men helped me through a heartbreak with "End of the Road." Whitney Houston stole the show with her iconic song, "I Will Always Love You." And I could rap along with Tupac on "Dear Mama", "Brenda's Got a Baby" and "Keep Ya Head Up" like nobody's business. I was pretty darn cool.
Recently though, something happened that changed the way I saw myself - you know, the young, cool mom syndrome.
Just the other day, my daughter was with me in the car flipping through radio stations as usual. A song came on, with a rap component, and I had NO CLUE as to who the guy was. "Moooom, it's Kendrick Lamar." Like, duh, right? And I was like…"Who?" I had never heard of this person in my life. I'm still in love with music, of course, but it was then I realized how out of touch I am with mainstream popular music.
Feeling really old at this point, I made it my mission to learn about some other popular artists among the high school crowd. I've heard more from Skillrex, ASAP Rocky, 2 Chainz, Lana Del Rey and Avicii than I care to admit. My eardrums are still ringing actually. All it took was one song on the radio to completely change my mind on who I thought I was. I am really getting old.
But you know what? I'm totally okay with that. I'll leave the heart-pounding, fast-paced melodies to the young ones of today. I officially pass the torch. I'd rather listen to Kenny Chesney anyway.
Amanda Ortiz is a full-time working mom to two kids (a teen and a toddler), living in suburban Chicago.
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