My 13-year-old daughter is absolutely enamored with country music thanks to one of her new friends at school. US 99 plays in the kitchen, in her bedroom. All the time. We went from Lil Wayne to Jimmy Wayne, from Drake to Jake Owen, seemingly overnight. She used to love rap and hip-hop, now it’s all Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.
Secretly, I’m thrilled. (Why secretly? Totally afraid I’ll lose my street cred as A City Mom.) But honestly, no more trolling the iTunes store making sure the lyrics for a downloaded song are Clean vs. Explicit? No more worrying, as much anyway, about drugs and sexual references in songs I’d rather not have my little girl listening to? Awesome. And I’ve been known to listen (shhh. secretly) to the country music channel on XM radio when I’m in the car, going so far as to buy Justin Moore’s song Bait A Hook as soon as I got home.
One thing I do worry about? My love of “her” music will hamper her ability to innocently rebel. Most people, I think, expect their teenagers to rebel in some manner. Separating yourself from your parents is an important part of growing up. When she was in her Rap and Hip Hop phase, let’s just say she was more successful at it. I think it’s important during these years for teens to find healthy and harmless ways to exert their independence. Music, hair cuts, hair color and fashion statements would be what I’m talking about. I think if as parents we don’t let our children act out their independence in mostly harmless ways, they’re gone to keep pushing, perhaps into harmful ways: alcohol, drugs, sex or tattoos. And not necessarily in that order.
But I can’t deny my love for the genre, for "both kinds of music. Country and Western." I tell her about artists I like and sing along with her to Carrie Underwood while setting the dinner table.
“What the hell are we listening to?” the husband asks when he walks through the door.
Maybe her “rebellion” will remain in tact. Perhaps I'll start one of my own. I gave Tanya my favorite Darryl Worley CD.
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