My Son, the Not-Jonas-Brother

Textbooks have been returned, report cards are in the mail and the long speeches at awards ceremonies and graduations are finally over. School’s out for summer! Except if you have a high-school junior that is not gifted or talented like his or her Hollywood counterpart who, by some lucky strike, has an angelic singing voice, […]

Last Updated: June 23, 2010 @ 3:26 PM

Textbooks have been returned, report cards are in the mail and the long speeches at awards ceremonies and graduations are finally over.

School’s out for summer!

Except if you have a high-school junior that is not gifted or talented like his or her Hollywood counterpart who, by some lucky strike, has an angelic singing voice, plays three instruments and dances like Baryshnikov — which means they probably get to skip the stressful college admissions process.

Hollywood kids sure seem to have a sweet deal, don’t they? Circumventing what non-gifted youngsters have to endure to try and hit the big time with a solid education behind them.

For normal high-school folks, the rat race is on. SATs, ACTs, letters of recommendation, college brochures scattered all over the place and application packets rolling in daily are the prerequisites before hitting it big in the real world. A few years of lockdown in the library stacks are as necessary for artistically challenged students as county fair gigs and school plays are to blessed young Hollywood talent.

For my stressed out, pimple-flecked, dark-circle-eyed prospective college student, life couldn’t feel any heavier — and watching TV doesn’t make him feel any better. Why? He’ll tell you it’s because most of those Nickelodeon and Disney kids seem to have it made, and they’re practically the same age.

Parenting opportunity coming on …

After lecturing the college hopeful teen on how man is not created equally talented, we must pursue our own happiness and get ahead in the path we’ve landed on, I point out a few celebrity role models who he can relate to and rattle out facts and names before I loose his attention.

“You like Ashton Kutcher, right? The prankster and comedy actor was once a serious student at the University of Iowa studying biochemical engineering hoping to find a cure for his brother’s heart problem?”

I notice he’s still listening.

“I like Reese Witherspoon, she’s one of my favorite Hollywood moms” I continue.  “You know her from her role as a Harvard girl in "Legally Blonde," but Reese was actually at Stanford, where she studied English literature.”

Feeling smug about imparting this quick bit of wisdom, I then give him something he can actually almost touch.

“How about JoJo Levesque," I say letting the esque linger a bit.

“Jo Le who?” he asks with a vague look on his face.

“JoJo, you know the singer? I think she was in that RV movie. She’s going to be a freshman at Northeastern University in the fall. You’ve got that college brochure on your desk too.”

“Wasn’t she going out with one of the Jonas Brothers?” he asks. He couldn’t help but be informed about all the Jonas’ girl friends during his sister’s OJD (Obsessive Jonas Disorder) period.

“Yeah, that’s her. So, why don’t you go upstairs and go through the brochure to see if you’d like to apply there — and if you get in to that school, you might get to meet her next year.”

“Yeah, wouldn’t that be cool” he replies almost certainly conjuring up images of running into her in the quad or sharing a class, and then telling his lil’ sis all about it.

Suddenly, Nick and Disney have nothing on him.

Suzette Valle was recognized by Time Warner Cable as one of San Diego's Best Moms. She is the author of "101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up" (Walter FosterJr. Fall 2015), a reference book for kids. She has appeared on the "Dr. Phil" show discussing the effects of reality shows on families. Her posts have been featured on Fox,YahooMovies.com, and Movies.MSN.com. A mother of two, she lives in San Diego with her husband. She blogs about parenting and Hollywood's influence on children's daily lives and family values at www.MamarazziKnowsBest.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SuzetteValle.