One of the kids turned 13 this week, we have a teenager in the house. The eye rolling and general disdain for anything we have to offer has been present for quite some time, so some of the shock has been absorbed already. With teendom comes other attributes to which I am more attuned.
The rebirth and renewal that is central to human creativity and expression means that things that were cool for me are now cool for them. Better still, I can be all OG about it, which annoys the heck out of the kids and gives me great succour.
Like her Doc Martens – you have to have 10-hole if you really want to be cool. I talk about my skinhead days. My Run-DMC era black Adidas kit, that they suddenly want to ‘borrow’ – step away from the 3 stripes, ladies. Best of all, the teenage years are perfect for expanding one’s musical taste. Out goes Arianna Grande, in comes 70s David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys (her first vinyl purchase!), and Nirvana. *Chef’s kiss*
The other day I genuinely surprised the kids – like, a gasp of air – when I told them I saw Nirvana perform to an audience of 150 and Kurt Cobain still crowd-surfed like he was headlining Glastonbury. Cool.i.o.
Maybe, just maybe, over time, there will be other topics and content of convergence. Maybe, they will see that we are not just parents, but real people with real taste, with something to share, perhaps even pass on. Let’s start with The Smiths, drum’n’bass and deep House, Frank Ocean, Beck and Sufjan Stevens. I am keeping my expectations low – will musical alignment be enough? Maybe there will be other types of understanding – like how to live a fulfilling life.
On her birthday, I feel slightly optimistic about how we connect and around which we orient. Wish me luck.
This Much We Know.