When Mom & Cool Don’t Mix – A Tale of Humble Pie

Last week my son came home with a permission slip for his next class field trip. I was so excited to see the 4th grade is heading to Crystal Cave. I LOVE Crystal Cave! (Well, I love Crystal Cave with the exception of all those creepy bats.) Anyway, I was just about to check the chaperone volunteer box, when it crossed my mind: Maybe I should ask him if he wants me there this time. Looking back on it all, I should have just kept my big mouth shut. *sigh*

Oblivious to the fact that it might backfire, I asked him if I could join him on his field trip. To my great shock, he responded by shaking his head no with an uncomfortable smile on his face. WHAT? What could he possibly be trying to tell me?!? I’m stay-at-home-mom…I always chaperone field trips. Doesn’t he realize how lucky he is to have me home so I can do these things? I love getting to see him with his friends during the school day. What does he mean, no?
So that’s when I, foolishly, decided to take it farther. 
The conversation gut-wrenching, hurtful, exchange went like this: 
ME: Are you saying you don’t want me to go?
BEN(awkwardly): Yeah.
ME: Seriously? But why? 
BEN:  Mom, if you go on this field trip, you’ll bring my coolness factor down by at least 80%.
ME: Um, you have a coolness factor?
BEN: Yeah. And it’s at 160 right now. Don’t ruin it for me.
Long pause….as I consider which part of this mess to address first
ME: Well, Jack doesn’t mind when I do things with his class.
BEN: That’s because he doesn’t even HAVE a coolness factor yet. 
JACK (chiming in): I’m just starting to have a coolness factor. Mostly it starts in 3rd grade.
ME: Oh….Well, are you SURE I can’t go with you? I LOVE Crystal Cave!
BEN: Mom, last time we went as a family you screamed when you saw bats. 
ME: True….Well, can I PLEASE come with anyway?
BEN (smiling): No.
BEN (smiling): No. 
ME: *Takes pen off of the chaperone volunteer box and cries a little on the inside*
So, this whole parenting big kids thing still feels new to me. Maybe I’m a little off, but isn’t 9 years old too young to be acting like a teenager? The older my kids get, the less I feel like I know what I’m doing. But that can’t possibly make me embarrassing enough to be shunned from 4th grade field trips. Something tells me I better learn to like the taste of humble pie. In the meantime, maybe I’ll get started on my next blog post about all what having kids has done to MY coolness factor.


  1. Just wait until they’re old enough to decide to move out of state. What’s up with that? We must be way UNcool. 3 of our 4 darlings no longer live in MN with their loving, devoted parents.

    • Gah! You guys were the coolest parents EVER…and they still moved away! After everything you’ve done for them? Sheesh. I don’t stand a chance.

    • What do you mean “were”? When does parenting ever stop? Hey, that may be a great topic for a new post. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’m pretty sure Ben would agree that we don’t even register on the “Cool Factor” any longer.

  2. My ten year old was embarrassed when I brought her cupcakes to school. I feel your pain. ๐Ÿ™

  3. Crystal Cave in Kutztown?

    But yeah, mine basically pulled the same crap.

  4. I am so glad my son hadn’t developed a coolness factor yet. He is all for me going on the trip to pumpkin patch.

  5. Sad, I know my day will come with my three boys. Hope I can be as humble as you and take it with loving stride in a positive way. I’m not so sure how I will handle it when it comes? Thanks for sharing Marie. At least I have an idea what I’m in for….wisemommies.com,linking up from SITS today

    • Well, I tried to be positive on the outside…but I was feeling awful on the inside. Thanks so much for stopping by…I’ll be heading over to your site right now!

  6. I’m a little concerned that I’m 30 and have yet to start having a coolness factor.

  7. I have warned the hubs that if the boys ever think they’re to big/cool to give their momma a hug and kiss in public that I’ll embarrass them so badly they will wish they had just done it in the first place. I see this in my near future too!

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