What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Their Music"

For Christmas, my daughter got a Hannah Montana CD. It was Shell's idea, I'm sure I would not have thought of it. Both kids watch the Hannah Montana show when they catch it on. I hadn't really paid that much attention to it. Anyway, she got the CD, which she was clearly excited about. Kudos to Mama on that one!
About 2 weeks ago, she asked if we could listen to her CD in the car on the way to the bus stop. I cleared it with her brother and we listened to 2 whole songs before the bus got there. That night, we listened to it on the way to Karate. As we got out of the car, she said "Thank you for letting us listen to the CD, you're the best mom ever". If only it were always that easy...
We have listened to the CD, with the kids singing from the backseat and me learning more of the songs every day, more days than not. I realized yesterday that this is the start of them having their "own" music. I say this because although they have been exposed to a lot of different kinds of music in their 9 1/2 years, it has been "our" music. They know the words to, and sing along happily to the Beatles, Queen, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Melissa Etheridge, Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood, Barbara Mandrell, the Wicked & Rent cast recordings and countless others. We are proud of this. But Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana is theirs first and foremost. Where do we go from here?
I tried to reconcile this with my own youth, but there is no real comparison, at least not at their age. When I was young, I listened to whatever my parents listened to as well. "Classic" rock was my dad's genre and was always on the radio in the garage. I owe my appreciation and love for the Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, etc to him. In the house, my mom played her records, consisting of Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Bee Gees, the Jackson 5, among others. I love them all. When I got into my early teens, my mom worked at a Hair Salon with people mostly younger than her. She listened to the Top Forty music that I was getting interested in. That is what she played in the car and on the radio at home. We discovered and enjoyed Madonna, Whitney Houston, Kool & the Gang, Prince, Michael & Janet Jackson, etc. We never argued over the music I listened to, because it was hers too. I didn't have my "own" music until I was in high school and along with the previously mentioned artists, I also was listening to Poison, Def Leppard, Aerosmith and the like. Not my moms music, but it was played on the stations she listened to sometimes, so it was fine. My mom was not (and is still not) the type to listen to cassettes or CD's in the car. The radio is perfectly acceptable for her. So there wasn't really ever a time when I wanted to listen to "my" music in the car with her, I don't think it ever came up.
Fast forward to now. Although I have heard and occastionally listen to a lot of the music on the charts today, I find myself choosing to listen to more of "my" music, or at least sticking to the artists that I am familiar with. And my kids like it too. But how much longer before this is not the case? I can handle Miley Cyrus, actually I do enjoy her pop-ish sound and what I've seen of her in person I like her. I'm ok with my 9 year old daughter liking her. But what about the next one? What if I don't like whoever they pick next?
You know, it has occurred more often to me lately that we are in a unique place right now. Our children have been alive for 9 years, and in 9 years they will be adults (technically). They are halfway through their growing-up years. How strange. They've got a lot of learning to do in the next 9 years, and I know that this also means that the next 9 years will probably be the most difficult ones for us as their parents. I think I'd like them to stay this age for a bit longer, just to prolong the inevitable a bit longer. If only.

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