Will has been using my MP3 player to listen to the "maths music" which I have downloaded for him (these are maths learning songs which are proving very useful in helping him to learn his times tables, etc). Now that he has grown comfortable with using the gadget he has started working his way through my music - namely the Leonard Cohen/I'm Your Man CD. It warms my cockles to hear him singing along to If it be your will and Everybody knows, the adult lyrics sounding both sweet and odd coming from his mouth.
Some of you may have noticed that the Cancer Council is using the original Everybody knows (sung by L. Cohen) for their latest super gruesome anti-smoking ad. I don't really want the kids watching the ugly images but it does crack me up when they both run to the tv and stand in front of it, somberly singing along.
Speaking of brainwashing your children to like your music, a few weeks ago we were driving along and a Red Hot Chili Peppers' song came on the radio. I said to Will "do you know who this is?" and he looked at me like I was an idiot and said "yeah, it's the Red Hot Chili Peppers... my favourite band". Oh how my heart soared at that moment. Are there any sweeter words a mother can hear?
Which makes me think of the future. Of the unavoidable fall which is sure to follow such wonderful highs. What musical trend or subculture will my children detour into as teenagers, once my parental influence is not only watered down but defiantly avoided? As my parents couldn't imagine the punk and skinhead world I would fall into, I cannot imagine what variation of Emo, Death Metal or (much, much worse) Missy Higgins my children will embrace.
One thing is guaranteed. No matter how open minded we, as parents, think we are our children will undoubtedly find ways of challenging us throughout their teens. Is it harder for children of "modern" parents (as opposed to more conservative ones) to achieve that shock factor - emotionally, musically, culturally? Will our kids have to push the envelope a lot further? After all my parents were shocked and revolted at my obsession with KISS, whereas I encourage that same obsession in my children. I want my kids to know the joys of singing [yelling] Detroit Rock City while driving with the windows down.
What will my children find to shock me? I know whatever it is is incubating out there somewhere, getting ready to hatch, as Will inches ever closer to his thirteenth birthday.