When you have teenagers you do things you would never normally do - make and eat pancakes at midnight, listen to bands that make your ears bleed,  watch movies a second time that weren't worth the first,  etc, etc.  But doing it with them makes it fun!  (Or, relentlessly making fun of them doing it makes it fun).  It also helps you to stay awake to the world.

The girls and I have a "most dramatic selfies" contest going at all times.  This started because they constantly receive (and send) selfies from their friends via snap chat.  I think its weird, but its the culture of their generation.   Look anywhere online and you will find selfie contests and sweepstakes, selfie this, that and the other.  For their generation, technology isn't an invention, its a way of life.  As is narcissism.  But no one calls it that.

So, being the mother that I am, I started "elaborating" on everyones pics that were sent to the girls and started making my own demonstrating how empty it all is.  I mean, who takes pictures of themselves everyday, seemingly every hour?  Why has this become normal?

There is the dramatic favicon pic.  They all seem to have one of these (extra lipstick, please):

Ill label this one, "obsessed".  Thats about right.  They always have weird tag lines.

Of course, its not weird when its one of their friends, but the same pose of their mom and we have a gut wrenching laugh fest going.  Then they see how odd it is!


The self inflicted mug shot (trying to make the angriest face possible).  Peyton was next to me laughing her head off on this one.  But it was initially cool when someone else did it.

Ill call this one, "are my eyebrows straight?" - because the tags lines for these seem to refer to physical concerns.

The dramatic, southern, Im so sweet shot (taken at my moms house, again while we were all in the room together making fun of a selfie that had just come through…note the drama hand)...I do declare…:

And I don't even know what to call this one…but they get these it seems everyday.  The "oh wait, Ill just take a picture of myself in the light of the window and send it to everyone I know shot":

I'd label it, "going to get the bathroom cleaner".  Because thats what I was doing.  

Its sick, I tell you - all this self, self, self.  But because its a cultural norm, many have lost sight that it reeks of disease.

So we talk about narcissism.  And things that resemble relationship but aren't (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc, etc, etc).  All the laughter in the world doesn't minimize the craving for admiration and self-absorption these endless pictures of self reveal.   So I don't want it to end with the laughter.  And sometimes they buck me, because Im a wet blanket on the fun.  But sometimes they see, and so do I.  

In this season of mothering I find as much danger as I have in any other.   It doesn't lessen as they get older.   The difference now is in watching for them, I also see for myself in a new way.  Middle age can be a place of falling asleep; certainly it is for me.  As CS Lewis said, "the long, dull monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather for the devil."

I make fun.  I make conversation.  I make mental note.  I realize I have fallen asleep in certain ways.  I show them what that looks like and they make decisions about their own lives.  

Its heavy, but its also fun.  We laugh, but we are also very serious.  I find in satirizing I can get closer to the subject.