I Create My Own Dress Code

Over 50? Part of a Rock'n' Roll family? Kindergarten teacher? That's license to play!
  • Cary Berg - hip LA preschool teacher

    Cary Berg is a preschool teacher in Brentwood CA and a mother of three talented kids. Her husband is a producer in the music business. Cary, now in her early 50's has a personal style which is eclectic and charming  - part hippie, part rocker, part Mom. Realize asked her how she stays in the groove.

     

    Slide Show photographed by Ellary Eddy
  • Cary Berg - hip LA preschool teacher

    Yeah, I’m 55, I’ll admit that! In the groove?  Well, having kids who are now in their twenties is a huge part of that, they’re all into music, art, books... Since my husband is in the music business, there’s always a lot of young people around.  We kind of feel like their grandparents and yet not, because at the same time we’re their peers.

     
  • Cary Berg - hip LA preschool teacher

    What do you love about being over 50?  I know people in their 50‘s who say they feel like they’re twenty. I don’t; I feel like I’m 55.  I’m lucky because I don’t necessarily look it, which is nice.  Yoga and naps are a big part of my life. I teach preschool so I’m around very small people all day long which keeps you young.  And it’s exhausting - which is why I need naps.

    Ellary Eddy
  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    So what's it like being a boomer in L.A.?  Funny thing, I’ve never thought of myself as a boomer.  Huh, I’m a boomer - that’s so weird.  L.A. is built on this youth culture, but it's a network of communities within communities; you find friends and associates... you always have a support system. So it’s like anywhere else, but being able to be a part of the youth culture here makes things interesting.

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    So how long do you want to continue to teach pre-school?  Well, I thought I’d do it forever, but now I’m saying - this is exhausting!  The work is extraordinarily rewarding.  Having been a commercials actress before, I now feel I’m giving back to the community, having been what felt like sort of a prostitute before that - no offense to actresses. I live moment to moment, I don’t look giantly into the future... probably another 10 years.

  • So what might you do in the future then?  Well, my job is not just molding little lives, but also helping mold parents into informed people, part of which is teaching them to let kids have their feelings, which most of us didn’t get to grow up with. It’s sort of like de-brainwashing. And I guess I do that pretty well, because someone said ‘You should be a life coach.’ It made me laugh, but then I thought - wow, I could actually do that.  I work with parents all the time and they pretty much hinge on my every word.

  • You're very close with your kids.  What's your approach?  I try to keep an open dialog with my kids - they know that they can come to me with anything, whether it’s something forbidden or they shouldn’t have done, or something exciting that’s happening or ‘why can’t my boyfriend spend the night at my house?'

  • We’ve all figured out how to problem solve a lot of these issues together, as opposed to the parents being rulers of the world.  Knowing how to navigate with your kids - knowing when there’s an opportunity to have a conversation as opposed to it being your agenda... Letting it come from a place where it can happen organically.

  • So we're impressed - you manage to be both hot and cool:)!  Your concept of me being those is really funny. But taking care of yourself, staying tuned into yourself, and being able to be around young people - enjoying the music they listen to, the books they read, the movies they like... all these things have an impact on how I am in the world.  I don’t know how hot or cool I am.

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    So were you ever a hippie?  I went to high school in Vegas in the seventies... so I was more like a pseudo hippie but of course, like any teenager, I rebelled against my parents - did things that were more about getting attention than enjoying what I did.  But I definitely entered the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll. And I lived through it. I have no memories of it, but... :)

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    What is your favorite music to dance to?  Jjamz, my daughter Z’s band! And I love just hanging out when Thomas plays with his band Buckaroo. But I don’t drink alcohol anymore, so the concept of dancing is as foreign as a language I don’t understand. Standing and dancing at your seat at a concert, sure, but on a dance floor?

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    Yeah, I also happen to have a cousin who dances like a mad gypsy woman, and I envy that but I don’t have the ability to rationalize the fear part of the deal. I guess I’m not a dancer anymore... but when I drank I could dance on tables.

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    What in your life gives you the greatest joy?
    I would say life itself is pretty awesome.  Seeing the world through my kids eyes is pretty great, even as crazy as it is right now, it's magical watching my twenty somethings growing up in this world - navigating and forging on in such a crazy time.

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    So you've had quite a long marriage, any tips on sustaining one?   Not getting a divorce! (I took that quote from Olympia Harrison, George Harrison’s wife.) The key... I think it’s a rocky sea, but if you work really hard at staying on course you can attain it.  We’re about to have our 30th anniversary... it’s just too strange!  Recognizing that being married is a full time job, and it’s not all great but it’s a commitment. The pay is shitty, but the rewards can be great.

     

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    Okay, let's get silly. If you could be any animal, what  would you be?  Wow, I guess it’s sort of a combo. The animal I admire the most, because they’re extraordinarily beautiful, is a deer, but...

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    But then I have a real affinity for monkeys, since they’re so close to who I really am - playful, I guess!  But that combination would make a very bad animal. 
    A monkey with antlers?
    I’ll have to get my daughter Alex to draw it!

  • Cary Berg Hip LA preschool teacher

    So what do you love about being over 50?  Being in your 50’s, you finally feel like you have life figured out. In your thirties you think: oh yeah, I’ve got it. Then in your forties you think: I had no clue, and I was telling everyone what to do - but now I get it! Then in your 50’s, it’s ‘Hold on - I really have it now!’ It’s a great place, I wouldn’t go back.