Do you remember the age when you got into music?
Michael Jackson. He was my first introduction to American music and he’s attached to my earliest music memories. Beyond that I had two older siblings and a burning desire to always seem more mature. Music was one of those things; you got to pick artists and the sort of scene you wanted to follow. Since my siblings are several years older than me, I was one of those eight year olds who had a great sense of what I liked musically. The best thing was that I grew up in the 80s and my brother and sister had a diverse love of music; Depeche Mode played besides RUN DMC followed by The Cure which was rounded out by either MC Lyte or George Michael.
For this, I, poised in front of my bedroom mirror with hair brush in hand, belted out song lyrics at the top of my lungs! My parents constantly remarked on how I’d be a genius if I knew my school work as well as I did all those song lyrics. I rolled my eyes and kept on singing!
So when, before lil Burs went to see her mum over summer vacation, I suggested to upload a particular song she had been humming, that was overheard in a store, all day I thought I was doing good. Creating similar fun filled memories and helping her find her musical interest was seen as a good thing.
Now to be clear, Burs is a former musician. The lil one has been surrounded by music her entire life. But there’s a difference between the folksy, old school, rhyme and blues her dad prefers to listen to and having an eleven year old singing WHIP YOUR HAIR BACK AND FORTH. On closer inspection of her iPod, I knew instantly why it had a caked-on layer of dust. It wasn’t the sort of stuff that a kid would gravitate to (ok, I’m sure Harry Connick Jr was listening to that sort of music when he was a kid but…I digress).
In the hopes of being the most funniest, completely hip non-biological mommy EVER, I proceeded to revamp her iPod. I added the few songs that she’d hum around the house which consisted of the song noted above and American Boy by Estelle; Kelis, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani and a few other easily danceable tracks went on too. Then I made sure to add some quality older tunes like The Eurthymics, Michael Jackson, Queen, Bowie, Aretha and Prince. Plus a few quiet songs courtesy of Journey, Air Supply, Chicago, Phil Collins (don’t you dare judge me) for when she wanted music to go to sleep to. With a newly loaded playlist, she boarded the plane to visit her mum excited to hear what sort of music I thought she’d like.
Fast forward and it’s two months later and there’s a little girl who spent all day Sunday with headphones on her ears, swaying to music. What Burs and I have on our hands is a tone-deaf, high-pitched, constantly singing pre-teener on our hands. Oh, and it isn’t quiet singing it is at the top of the lungs so the people in the cheap seats can hear her.
So what do parents do here? Let her keep singing while you do your best to enjoy it or secretly put earplugs in your ears or dash the little spirit by telling to stop singing….noooooooooooooooooooo!
The point that started the panic is when the lil one, who awakens at the hour that the sun has barely started to shine to get ready for school, could be faintly heard getting her breakfast ready before she began to sing Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. Let me say this again it was SIX-THIRTY IN. THE. MORNING and at the hour her little voice broke through the silence like nails on a chalkboard. Then and there, as I sleepily crept up and closed the bedroom door I realized that I and I alone am to blame for what is yet to come.
It started with quietly singing in the shower – no one can fault that. Then singing as she’d draw at the table or humming as she cleaned-up her room. Burs and I would constantly smile to each other and chuckle – she was growing up! I felt so good about helping her hit that next step toward teendom. But now that it’s branched off to full on concert arena pitch, my friends, I’m preparing myself for the years to come. The years when it isn’t music that has come out of my iTunes library, but instead, music she’s found all on her own.
She came to me and showed me some artist like Tiny Tempah or something and I simply said that I didn’t have any of his songs. Lil Burs sighed and trotted off back to her bedroom and perform her encore as she blow-dried her hair. It got left at that. But someday, someday soon, she’ll have her own iTunes account. Then what will we do??!!?!