There are various times in my life when I feel distinctly "uncool." As my son gets older I have noticed that these moments seem to come more and more frequently, though I'm sure that's just a total coincidence. I don't see very many movies, have never been to a music concert, and I regularly wear clothing that could be on "What Not to Wear." I don't know what "twerking" means, and I'm afraid to find out. An exciting Friday night at my house usually includes me getting really excited about something that I managed to cook to a somewhat edible level in the Crock-Pot while my son educates me on the finer points of current cultural events, many of which seem to center around zombies.
I don't know when zombies became popular, or cool. One moment my son was playing a computer game called "Plants vs. Zombies" where tiny vegetables flung their seeds at attacking zombies, and the next moment the zombies are everywhere.
I have seen zombie survival guides being sold in bookstores and commercials featuring them on TV. I've even seen a couple's engagement photo shoot which featured a zombie attack storyline. Engagement photos strike the same level of confusion in me as zombies do. Did these always exist? Were they always popular and I'm only now exposed to them through the joys of the Internet and social media? I suppose in a couple years I'll be researching what to bring to a zombie-themed baby shower.
In a twist of coolness probably meant to confuse the likes of people like myself, clowns are scary and zombies are popular, or "trending," as I think the kids are saying these days. I have tried to convince my child that if he is so fascinated by mostly dead creatures that are rotting and falling apart he is more than welcome to help me clean the refrigerator one of these days. I have some spinach in there that I could swear I saw lurching towards me the last time I opened the crisper drawer.
Instead of helping me clean the kitchen (the last time I asked my son if he wanted to help load the dishwasher he said, "I don't know, is it fun?" I need to reread some parenting books) my son sits and peppers me with questions about what I would do and where I would go in the event of a zombie invasion. Apparently this is a category where he believes I need frequent retraining as my answers are often wrong. "Mom, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go if zombies were attacking?" "Uh "¦ a boat in the middle of the ocean," I responded. I still think this is a pretty good answer. According to my 9-year-old source, zombies aren't particularly good at swimming.
When my son was little everything I said was right. I would tell about the wonders of the sun really being a star, plants making oxygen and assure him in the middle of a movie, during those really scary parts, that everything would turn out OK in the end. I was mom, I was the expert, I was always right.
It was an amazing feeling, but, like all good things, it had to come to an end.
"No mom! You wouldn't want to be in middle of the ocean! You don't know how long the zombie attack will last. You would run out of supplies."
My son has obviously thought this through. It's a little sad that I'm growing slowly less cool by the year, and very sad that I can't be right about everything anymore, but as my son is growing up it's exciting to see him become his own person, and an expert in his own field. I might still be in charge of cleaning the kitchen and killing off the last of the terrifying spinach, but in the event of a zombie attack I'll definitely put my son in charge.
Zoe Abel is stocking up on supplies, namely Crock-Pot Chili. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.