Parenting is a learning process and everyone has their own style. There are some experiences in the road to adulthood with my two children that bring others to pause and wonder if my better half and I should have avoided jumping into the deep end of the gene pool. Many of these revolve around music. We shouldn’t be proud of these or think are funny, but we do. For as the David Bowie song goes. “‘If you stay with us you’re gonna be pretty Kooky too..”
When my daughter was a preschooler, my husband and I used to chase her about the house with the vinyl copy of King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King,
and she would scream “SCARY FACE MAN” and run laughing into another room. She claims to be emotionally scar free from this and says if anything drives her to therapy it will because I took her to see the Residents on their Talking Light Tour when she was in high school. She still claims to have nightmares about that, but I think she’s being a bit dramatic. Really.
Venus in Furs
Around the same age, my little girl loved to dance around the living room to music. One Christmas, I received a box set of Velvet Underground’s complete recordings. There’s a video from that Christmas of my daughter happily twirling around the living room to “Venus in Furs”. I’m pretty sure I’m going to hell for that one.
Did anyone tell you that your son looks like a miniature Joe Strummer?
The summer before second grade, my son begged for a Mohawk. We made the deal he had to cut it before school but he went through the entire summer with that Mohawk. And yes, when he went shirtless on the beach, he looked like a skinny little Joe Strummer and very, very cool. Then we dyed it blonde, so when he started second grade, he bore a strange resemblance to Marshal Mathers (Will the Real Slim Shady Please stand up!)
My son’s favorite shirt when he was in the third grade was a shirt from Green Day’s American Idiot tour. When it came time for school pictures, we let him wear it for the picture. I think my mother in law never quite figured out what was going on in that photo.
The NIN/JA tour.
Other parents take their kids to the movies, the beach or even Disneyland as a family outing. When my son was 12 and my daughter 15, we went as a family to see Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction on the NIN/JA tour. I took a lot and I mean a lot of flak from people about taking a 12 year old to this concert. But he liked Nine Inch Nails and honestly he was pretty well acquainted with the F-Bomb usage in their songs. And yes, he had heard the full unedited version of “Closer”.
It was my son’s first concert ever. Since we knew someone doing security, we got into a VIP box for the concert and nothing will ever beat watching my son head bang to “Metal” and “Head Like a Hole”:
(Yeah..it kind of went like that)
He still goes to concerts with me; our next one is Gary Numan at the Fillmore. And yes, when people say stuff like “my first concert when I was 12 was “fill in the blank with with some preteen rock music” , he proudly tells them his first concert involved Nine Inch Nails and a VIP box.
So in conclusion, I may not win a PTA award anytime soon, my kids definitely have some great childhood memories. At least I hope so; therapy is really expensive these days.