My 17-year-old and I just returned from London. When I was invited over a year ago to make a presentation at a conference in Oxford this summer, I asked Celia if she’d like to come along to England with me. She didn’t skip a beat before signing on for her first international adventure.
During our time in London, we visited the usual tourist sites: Big Ben, Tower of London, Buckingham, London Eye, and so on. But we also did something out of the ordinary that I’m still trying to wrap my brain around.
A few days into the trip, I sat at my computer catching up on emails while Celia kicked back on the hotel bed to check out some you-tube videos. Suddenly, I heard a high-pitched squeal coming from Celia’s direction:
“Mommy, Cloe is having a meet and greet at Princess Diana’s memorial in Hyde Park this Saturday!!!!!!! Can we go?!”
“Um, maybe. Who’s Cloe?”
“Cloe from Cloe Couture! She’s one of my favorite you-tubers!!!”
Priding myself on being a semi-cool mom, I do know what you-tube is. Heck, I’ve even watched a few videos. One demonstrated how to wrap my sari, something I’ve never quite mastered despite being instructed by more than a few Indian women. Others have featured clips from interviews and talks by people whose work I’m interested in. But Cloe Couture? Never heard of her.
Celia showed me one of Cloe’s videos, confident that I would recognize the girl’s brilliance. Cloe is indeed entertaining to watch–a little bit of information on clothes, shopping and other teenage matters is mixed in with humor and lots and lots of energy. Plus, she’s just a tad older than Celia, and will be heading to UCLA in the fall to begin her freshman year.
So on Saturday, my British pal Kathryn, Celia and I trekked our way through Hyde Park to Cloe’s gathering. A number of fans were already there when we arrived, and Celia soon joined the circle to get to know the other girls, play a game, and take photos with Cloe. Celia was very, very excited to have met her online friend in person. And Celia’s friends expressed (via text, instagram, and snapchat) their extreme jealousy that Celia had the opportunity to actually meet someone that they’ve only seen from afar. As far away as you-tube.