A few weeks ago I was a part of a think tank (ha) of friendly, music nerd types who also fall under the “hoping to be parents in the near future” category. As we gathered around a table brimming with cocktails, the conversation lingered to our parents and their musical tastes. Moms and dads out there, we DO talk about you sometimes, so check yourselves.
We went round and round about how our musical choices differ from what our parentals fancy and how, as we grew older, a lot (not all, but a great deal) of the music we grew up listening to by default through them – and hating – is suddenly present in our collections as adults. Funny how that works. I’ve mentioned such things before: how kids, teenagers mostly, automatically dislike what their parents dig. It’s chemistry. I am sure some of you would argue, of course.
Then the queen mother of questions was popped: “What if our kid is into (insert your artist/genre of choice here, preferably one that makes your skin crawl: Ke$ha. Speed Metal. The Kelly Family)??” It is a question that must occur to every music loving parent or, in my case, parent-to-be, that has a large enough record collection to be considered obsessed or nerdy about it. What’s the answer? That’s a toughie. Of course, I want my kids to be as obsessed as I am over MBV and every other record I hold near and dear to my heart, buuuuut…the chances of that are slim and none. And Slim just left the room.
Let me be clear. I am not a parent (yet), but by gum we are trying like crazy people, which is another story for another day on another blog. I do, however, have many close friends who are parents and a ton of people I know in passing have been blessed with children. I am a keen observer of these folks. I enjoy hearing stories about their kids even if it makes me insanely jealous. Out of the musically engrossed ones, I have discovered 2 types: Those who go with the flow and those who fight nature tooth and nail. Let me explain by way of a couple quotes:
1. (Via Facebook or Twitter) “Oh Christ. Loading up the car with Suzy and the neighbor kid to go see the Biebs. #jesusmarymotherofgodhelpme”
2. “Oh my goodness, Abby! It’s the craziest thing. Suzy just can’t get enough of the Leonard Cohen b-sides. She keeps asking for them. And did I tell you? We watched Harold and Maude together on Saturday? It is her fav-o-rite.”
There you have it. Although plausible, it is difficult for me to believe the words quoted in example #2, especially if SUZY IS 7 YEARS OLD. Perhaps I am totally off the mark, and I am in no way insulting your kid if he or she does groove to Leonard Cohen, but the kids in the 4-7 age group I’ve observed dig pop music. They like repetitive, happy sounds, regardless of the lyrics. Loud annoying shit. My nieces and nephews are intelligent, healthy kids and they love the hell out of the Nintendo Wii “Just Dance” soundtrack. They’re still the coolest kids around, in my book.
What I am saying is that I am dead set on not being a fighter. Perhaps I’ll eat my words one day (you parents out there can wag your fingers at me in disgust if and when I don’t follow through with my plan). This goes for my future kiddos and the big people out there who I haven’t met yet. I don’t expect you to like what I like. Of course, it makes for great conversation if you do. And don’t get me wrong, I will play a ton of tunes for you to see what you think about them. That said, a love of music – knowing what one really REALLY likes and inspires them…that is my wish for everyone. It is the greatest feeling in the world, despite the genre. The Biebs included (I guess).
[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]