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10 Is the New 20

Photograph by Getty Images

If I had it my way, my 10-year-old would still be wearing Garanimals. But he's not. He's wearing boxer briefs. And if I had it my way, he'd still have that sweet, powdery, dryer sheet-like smell of a baby. Hell, I'd even take that weird, play yard goat smell that he used to pick up somehow at school. But no, he's wearing Axe body spray deodorant. Axe. Body. Spray. I mean, my eyes still see this little boy, but my nose smells Mario Lopez. And boxer briefs? Who does my son think he is? Mario Lopez?

I got to thinking, You're only 10, kid. Which lead me down the, "When I was 10 ... " path. And the generational differences are really hitting me now that Evan is getting to that tween stage. There's no denying that, and it's evident in so many ways. Like these:

1. At 10 years old, I was writing in my Hello Kitty diary about my Rainbow Brite roller skates. Evan is making movies on his Flip camera.

2. Evan and his friends are wearing premium denim and collector dunks. Boys back in my day were wearing Cosby sweaters over turtlenecks and had dandruff. I saw a little girl on the yard the other day wearing Chanel earrings. My favorite outfit was a Smurfette pullover and puff-painted Keds.

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3. And what happened to banana clips? Those things showcased my hair like a horse's mane. Nope, girls are not side-ponying it these days. They are, however, having their eyebrows plucked and lips waxed. At that age, I looked like Spock.

4. When I was 10, I was learning a minuet on an upright at Mrs. Anderson's house. Evan is producing beats and tracks with his rocker/teacher, Gregory, on a keyboard plugged into a laptop.

5. I was getting notes folded up and sealed with a Garfield sticker, "Do you like me? Yes. No. Maybe (check one)." Evan is getting 27 "likes" on a photo of a close-up of his nostrils he just posted to Instagram.

6. Evan is watching sitcoms starring young pop superstars with swagger for days. I was watching a robot girl named Vicki and Reading Rainbow on PBS. No one was learning the gangsta lean from Lavar Burton.

We were wholly accepting lyrics like, "Ohhh, what a feeling, when we're dancing on the ceiling."

7. Kids even look older. I was at school the other day and asked Evan who the new teacher was. Well, that "teacher" was a 5th grade girl who was apparently "teaching" boys about tampons and 36 Cs. I didn't even wear a training bra at that age. And I swear that 50 percent of the boys on Evan's football team shave daily.

8. Evan and most of his friends have cell phones. We were using phone books.

9. 10-year-olds today are Power 106 (where hip-hop lives). Ten-year-olds in my time were 94.7 The WAVE. Yes, we had dope hip-hop artists like The Beastie Boys and Doug E. Fresh, but they were not commandeering the pop charts. Instead, we were listening to Michael Jackson, El Debarge and Miami Sound Machine. Well, I was listening to Miami Sound Machine (mmmm, "Conga"). Today, kids have Nikki Minaj and Jay-Z and, as such, boys are dedicating songs to the "hottest chick in the game, wearing their chain," whereas we were wholly accepting lyrics like, "Ohhh, what a feeling, when we're dancing on the ceiling."

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10. While kids Evan's age are hashtagging #YOLO, I was making Snoopy Snow Cones like a dumbass.

11. My wall was covered with pics of Erik Estrada.

I guess it's inevitable—the fluidity of life and societal changes through generations. But, thankfully, there are many ways in which Evan shows me that being 10 is timeless and he is no different than I was at that age. He still waves at me until I'm out of sight when I drop him off at school. He chases pigeons at the park and asks me to scratch his back as he falls asleep.

Just as I was, Evan is afraid of the dark and sleeps with the closet light on. He dreams of being Kobe Bryant one day, and I idolized Mary Lou Retton. He loves LEGOs and watches scary movies through his fingers. And I'm pretty sure if I played it for him, he’d also love "Conga."

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