When my peers made reference to heartthrobs, to music videos, to inside jokes born of pop culture, I had no idea what they meant.
They sang songs I didn’t know and made jokes I couldn’t understand. I pretended to know what was going on, only to disappear to the bathroom when I was caught as a pretender.
I didn’t know why Jen and Joey were fighting on “Dawson’s Creek.” I wouldn’t find out until years later, in the weeks after delivering my daughter, when I spent afternoons with her infant body in my lap devouring old episodes of the teen drama.
And while I was learning that Joey had scored an impossible gig in New York City as an editor and Jen was (gulp) dying, I made a promise to the small person in my lap.
I wasn’t going to make her that one kid who had no idea that all this was going on.