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Whatever, Mom 

Just Take Those Old Records

I don't consider myself a very opinionated individual, but I'd rather chew on bleach-soaked glass shards while wrestling a rabid porcupine than listen to modern-day radio's pathetic excuse for music.

That said, you can probably imagine the amount of exposure my 5-year-old son has had to the mainstream tunes of his generation... It's simply one facet of parental dogma that, despite my overall support for child autonomy, I'm not quite ready to relinquish.

Hi, my name is Taylor (Hi, Taylor). And I'm a musical purist.

My guess is that it all started long before I joined the motherhood guild, in the backseat of my parents' '89 Chevy Suburban (no, this isn't about to get weird)...family road trip after family road trip, while James Taylor and Cat Stevens were composing my childhood soundtrack.

Fast-forward a couple of decades to the easy chair in my son's unfinished nursery... There I'd sit, night after night, watching the moon come up outside his soon-to-be bedroom window while James Taylor and Cat Stevens were composing a new childhood soundtrack through the earphones against my belly.

It may have taken me a while to appreciate music, but when I finally did, I refined my ear for great tunes and lost all tolerance for talentless garbage. So naturally, when I became pregnant and discovered the ins and outs of fetal auditory development, I took full advantage.

I'll be damned, I told myself, if my child doesn't have excellent taste in music.

And it didn't stop in-utero.

After my son was born, I introduced him (once again) to Robert Plant, Mick Jagger, Elton John and Tom Petty. Song-time (mama-a-cappella, that is) is a nightly ritual. And, I taught him to two-step, we talked about every LP in my vintage collection, and I eventually added a piano to our living room setup.

Funny thing is—despite my seemingly coercive attitude, his love for music has actually turned out to be pretty voluntary. Not only has he randomly declared his favoritism for the Rolling Stones, but has enthusiastically incorporated DJ-requests-from-the-backseat into our morning drives to school. And that nightly ritual? Well, it now includes his little voice—singing along to the classics of his grandparents' generation. And that right there is music to my ears.

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