Listening to the radio is a great conversation starter, especially when the songs piqué the kids' curiosity.
Some songs make me cringe.
Here is an excerpt of a conversation when we were at home listening to radio when Daft Punk’s song Get Lucky started to play:
Marie: What does it mean to "get lucky?"
Me: Hmm, that's a tough one. I'm not sure. Probably when you think the bag of M &M's is empty, but you shake it really hard and a few more come out. You got lucky because you thought the bag was empty, but there were some extras hiding in there.
Here is another excerpt when a little song by Robin Thicke’s comes on the radio. Maybe you heard of it. It is called Blurred Lines
Thomas: Why are the lines all blurry?
Me: Hmm, I'm not sure. What do you think? (trying to deflect)
Thomas: I don't know. That is why I'm asking you.
Me: Probably means blending colors together like when we make chalk drawings. Or someone is not clearly communicating something and the person gets confused what his friend is talking about.
These songs generally many me crabby because I do not like bending the truth about anything (although I make the obvious exceptions to keep Christmas and other holidays fun). I do not think never turning on the radio is a good strategy since Marie can hear it on the bus. And I don't want to not answer because I'm pretty sure if I don't come up with a good answer, Marie will just double check my explanation on Google.
But when a song like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s song Same Love comes on the radio, I am incredibly grateful for a chance to talk about something I didn't know how to bring up.
Marie: What is this song about?
Me: (deep breath) It is about how some people are not allowed to marry each other. Some families are made of a daddy and a mommy. But some families are made up of two daddies or two mommies. Some people think that is not ok.
Me: Some people think they have a right to tell someone whom they can and cannot marry. Could you imagine how sad you would feel if someone told you that you couldn’t marry and start a family with someone you love?
Marie: That would be sad. Someone did say on the bus it was illegal.
Me: It is in some places, but people are trying I change that.We should accept people as they are and allow them to marry whom they want.
Marie: Yes. (Very thoughtful pause) But I like his Cadillac song better.
Marie is not one for slow songs, but I am hoping that this conversation seeps down deep into her unconscious and becomes a part of her. I hope because it came up so naturally, the idea of accepting others is just as natural.
Thank you, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for a conversation I wanted to have but didn’t know how to start.
What pop songs have started conversations with your kids?