There comes a time in a young person’s life, usually in their early teens, sometimes earlier when they begin to get curious. As a parent it is important to see and recognize that curiosity. And more importantly to respond to it in a careful, well thought out manner. I had begun to sense that Jimmy was ready, so this week I took it upon myself to address things.
So on Monday night I motioned him over to me. Asked him to give me his phone. Opened it up, and with a little squinting (damn these old eyes and his tendency to keep his phone settings so dark) found what I was looking for.
I opened up the App, did a little searching and scrolling and then handed it back to him. ‘Here you go son, you are ready for this now.’
And with that I had Jimmy listen to Led Zeppelin IV for the first time. Because good parents don’t just let their kids discover these things on their own. If you leave it up to them, the next thing you know your son is listening to the latest boy band, and that is no fit way to raise a child.
I’m only partially joking. Music is a big part of my life. As big as it can be for someone who is tone and rhythmically challenged. I may not be able to sing along in tune, or play an instrument. Nor will I be able to describe in depth all the notes and nuances I am hearing. But music is still the background of my life, I simply cannot stand silence. I use it to break up all those silences, to motivate me, for pure enjoyment, and sometimes as a shield against life.
And I have begun to see that part of this is being passed along. Jimmy is reaching that point where seeing him without a set of headphones is unusual. Emily of course is the big musician, lately we have been singing songs from Annie when it is time to go to bed.
Of course I don’t really censor their music. Provided they realize the difference in language, and can speak accordingly, I don’t much care what they listen to. It is highly doubtful they will ever be able to phase me with what they are listening to, you cannot shock someone who grew up listening to punk rock and early gangsta rap. My only hope is that they listen to as many different things as possible, realize that there is a whole big world of different music out there to listen to, and with it an even bigger range of tastes.
In an ideal world we all raise kids who will eat anything that is offered to them, that they will not be picky. That they will welcome new experiences and not be afraid of the strange an unusual. Well I may not be the best example of eclectic eating tastes, but by golly I can show them that any music is just music, and is worth their time to at least try.