Equal Time

11 Apr


So, maybe it’s the tranquility of the beach, the waves, the wind in my hair that makes me reflective. Regardless, I began to wonder if I’m going through my musical life with blinder’s on. Most of you know that I have a 15 year old son, whom I call Mini DD. He has been raised around music since infancy. In his younger years he was a “Country” presario, much to the consternation and disgust of his two older brothers (admitted Alternative and Rock listeners).


However, a couple of years ago, the Country genre started to wane for both he and I. As a newly minted teenager, he started to listen to the music of the day that all of his friends were listening to — mostly Rap and what I call Alternative. I, on the other hand, went back to the future, listening to many of the tunes of my youth and young adulthood. I even went through what I call my “Blue Period”, where I was power listening to everything Sinatra, Dean Martin and Patsy Cline.


As if a metaphor for our lives, we went on separate musical paths, this only son and I. With the onset of puberty, so came the normal rebellion and turning away, musically and otherwise. When I got into John Mayer, he mocked “Gravity” by whining the lyrics when I played it in the car on the way to Soccer practice. Perhaps as a path to understanding or maybe just curiosity, I asked him to tell me what his five favorite songs were, promising to give them a serious listen and objectively write them up on my blog. (“Your WHAT, Mom?!?!”)


So, here they are:


1.) Breath – Breaking Benjamin



2.) Forever – Papa Roach



3.) From Yesterday – 30 Seconds to Mars



4.) Firefly – Breaking Benjamin



5.) Smack That – Akon with Eminem



I have to admit that the top 4 are not that dissimiliar to the Journey, Foreigner and Boston of my youth. A little more polished but very reminiscient of that music. While not overly original or different, I had to admit that the music wasn’t necessarily overwhelming and I could understand the words. And, there was meaning to the songs.


I can’t say the same of “Smack That” considering these lyrics:


I feel you creeping, I can see it from my shadow
Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo
Maybe go to my place and just kick it like TaeBo
And possibly bend you over look back and watch me


Four out of Five ain’t bad, I guess. I did learn a little from this exercise in that not every song has to be prolific. Some are just fun to listen to. Just like “Brick House” in my generation, some songs of this generation are just for fun….to sing along to or to dance to….to be young to. There’s plenty of songs that are “anthems” and still others that are “soul-defining” and personal to our core, no matter the generation. Those are vital, as are those designed just to entertain.


To finish the metaphor, on the way down to the beach, my son admitted in front of one of his friends that John Mayer’s “Dreaming with a Broken Heart”, is a really great song that he actually really likes. At that moment, I felt that if the music could bridge a gap between parent and child, then the teachings, the mentoring, and the guidance that his father and I have tried to give over the years are validated and worth all of the angst and worry spent over the talks about drugs, cigarettes, sex, responsibility, manners, etc.


I’ve always taken my parental role VERY serious as having only one shot at providing a man to this world that respects himself and others, has the independence and confidence to pursue his dreams and be true to himself without belittling anyone else’s, and that spreads happiness through his own “joie de vivre” without being trivial. Based on our musical journey, I’d say, “So far, so good.”




For David….










Posted by on April 11, 2007 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Equal Time

  1. Hickstyeria

    April 11, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    David’s a lucky guy with a mother like you. If he likes ‘Dreaming With A Broken Heart’ then I agree, ‘so far, so good’. Way to go Double D.

  2. jenfera

    April 12, 2007 at 8:38 am

    I took my neice to see Nickelback earlier this year and Breaking Benjamin was one of the opening acts. I couldn’t help feeling that there was something more genuine about Breaking Benjamin, as they weren’t playing any of the “pretty” songs like Nickelback to get them on Top 40 radio. My other thought was that the lead singer’s voice reminded me of Chris Daughtry’s, and the hard core rock fans who seemed like they were there as much for BB as for NB were the crowd that Chris probably wishes he had, but can’t get with the AI “taint.” It’s deal with the devil indeed.

  3. Althea

    April 12, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Interesting exercise. I need try it on my thirteen year old, his taste tend to be pretty eclectic they run from Hank Williams (SR. not Jr) to Joss Stone (I can thank GC for that one). It’s interesting how often our musical tastes go full circle, I too find myself gravitating back to the more familiar sounds of my youth. Even though as a younger women I swore I would stay current and not turn out like my parents listening to old Perry Como records. Daniel and I both like Taylor his favorite song, “Wherever I lay my Hat.”

  4. shrewspeaks

    April 12, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    I remembering being Mini-DD’s age and being all serious about music. There were two ways to go with being serious…PUNK with Husker Du, The Cure, The Smiths (you know I am angry and I wear guy-liner stuff) or Retro…back to roots. I dabbled in both scenes, but if push came to shove, as it often did with Punks, I was a retro babe listening to oldies stations, learning Motown, Aretha, Ink Spots, Sam Cooke, Woodstock etc. It wasn’t until I grew that I became more mirth filled about my musical tastes…Abba is fun…kind of thinking.

    My question is not for you Maven, but to Mini-DD…do you think your tatse reflects a seriousness of taste? Do you feel yourself gravitating to other types of music that are less agnst filled?

  5. nolagirl

    April 12, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Y’all, you must in your lifetime see and hear DD do Mini-DD’s “Gravity” mocking in person. That right there, is funny. (thanks for the laughs just thinking about it again, DD!)

    This is a really cool post. (I’m sure Mini-DD would never admit it and may not even see it, but you are a totally cool mom. With a cool blog) Very interesting parallel between your parenting and musical influencing.

    Oh, and btw, Breaking Benjamin is one of Dwain’s favorite new bands. Like you said, it’s listenable but not my cup of tea at all. And “Smack That”? Come on, you know you dance to it when no one is looking. 😉 (is me dancing to “Ms. New Booty” any better? Just askin’….)


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