Kids not saying wordsDear Children:
We need to talk. No, seriously. Not just say words to each other, but say words we both understand. I’m not looking for anything fancy here. Just some basic words that can be found in the dictionary. And no, the Urban Dictionary does not count.

I know this is a generational thing. It was annoying to my parents when we tried to sound like we were on the set of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” with our “gnarly” and “rad” surfer talk. And I know that it was obnoxious when we said things were “bad” when we actually meant something was good. What can I say? Keanu Reeves and Michael Jackson influenced us all in different ways.

But things only seem to be getting worse. Let’s start with your texts, as this seems to be your primary form of communication. Reading your texts makes me feel like a Cold War code breaker, but with more pressure. When I ask what time you need to be picked up and you say “IDK,” are you using Roman numerals? Am I supposed to know what this means? Because I don’t.

But this is not my greatest concern. At least with the abbreviations and acronyms, I can pretend they’re word puzzles. That’s fine. I like word puzzles.

It’s the emojis that are a game changer. Somehow you manage to have entire conversations using cartoon clip art. You do realize this is basically hieroglyphics, don’t you? You remember hieroglyphics, right? I’m pretty sure you watched a YouTube video about it in third grade.

And yes, the Egyptians were advanced when they came up with their whole “pictures to communicate” phenomenon. But we eventually made it to actual letters…and words. I’d like to think that we’ve evolved as a species. I need you to stay with me here.

Let me put it into terms that you can understand. Imagine if I took away your iPod and replaced it with sheet music. Now do you feel my pain?

I’m not saying you don’t ever use actual words. You do. I just don’t know most of them. What, exactly, is a “bae”? I know it’s not an acronym because it’s not in all caps, so I am going to stick with my original theory on this one. Someone left the “b” out of the word “babe” and it stuck…or went “viral,” which, by the way, used to be something that only happened in Stephen King novels and it was never a good thing.

But fleek? Ratchet? Yaaaaas? I still haven’t figured these out. Is this some kind of secret twin language that has spread without my knowing? Now is probably the best time to tell you. You don’t have a twin. Not even a long-lost one. I should know. I was there.

The thing is, out of every 50 words you say, I can usually only get one coherent sentence after removing “umm,” “whatever,” and “like.” By the way, these are the sounds that YOU use in place of commas. (NOTE: Commas are those little curved emojis that you sometimes see in books…or in my texts.)

Don’t get me wrong, children. I don’t doubt your intelligence. I know you’re smart. I know this because the other day you managed to reprogram my phone and now there are icons on my screen that are supposed to add value to my life.  I’m sure they will as soon as I can figure out what they mean. I would ask Siri, but she is no longer speaking to me. I am pretty sure you had something to do with this, too.

I suppose I should cut you some slack. When you were a toddler, you sounded like you were speaking Klingon. It was cute and, in time, I learned to decipher your incoherent gibberish.  I suppose I could make more of an effort to do that now and I do promise to try harder.

I just need to know that when you go to your first job interview and are asked why you want to work for this particular company, you don’t reply, “IDK, I mean, it’s like this place is totally on fleek or whatever.”

Of course, if you get lucky, your potential employer might just reply, “IKR?! This place is lit, bae.”

If you get the job, please just text me a thumbs up emoji. At least I know what that one means.

Thanks for listening, kids. I would say “reading,” but I’ll be turning this into a podcast later to make sure you actually get the message.

With much love,

Your Mom [insert emoji here]