On Being In Tune With Teens & Their Music…

I was in Columbus with Momo this week.

Spending time with my friends is, of course, one of my very favorite things in the world. Spending time with my friends’ kids? Also a huge favorite. I love swooping in and spoiling everybody for a few days, like a very young, super cool, and extremely attractive grandma. Actually, let’s say “Aunt”, since that’s how Momo’s daughter thinks of me (She said so, and I wanted to jump across the table and hug her brains out!) or even “second momma”, which is the high honor bestowed on me by Liz‘s kids.

One of the coolest things is that I became acquainted with these kids only through eyes of their moms for a few years, and then I finally got to meet them in person and form my own relationships with them directly, having all kinds of background information that helped me relate to them more quickly without being creepy. (Thanks, blogging!)

Taking the time to sit and chat with these young people when I visit is SO MUCH FUN. I love to hear about their school shenanigans, what they’re doing in their spare time, what they’re watching on tv, and all kinds of other things. I have amazing interrogation skills, just like a good aunt/grandma/second momma should. I adore when music–which happens to be another of my favorite things–comes up in conversation because it’s such a great unifier. Like the first time I visited New Jersey and met Liz’s youngest. That evening, she walked into the kitchen while I was making dinner for them and caught me singing along with Nikki Minaj.

“YOU like Nikki Minaj?? My mom doesn’t like Nikki Minaj.”
“Well, I do!”

And then we sang along to “Starships” together, a moment I will not forget anytime soon.

This week, Momo told me that she originally intended to bring her sixteen-year-old daughter Ali to the BlogHer conference this July (squee!), but won’t be doing that now (*takes back squee!*) because “she’s crazy about this one band and is going to a concert”.

“What band?” I asked.
“Fallout Boy.”
“I LOVE FALLOUT BOY!” I exclaimed.

Ali might have screamed, “YESSSSS”! and then she and I (along with her best friend) proceeded to have a conversation about the band and which songs I like and that “Centuries” is one of my current favorite songs and did they know that Pete Wentz is from Chicago and no, I hadn’t heard “Uma Thurman” yet but let me hear it and oh my gosh Momo I can’t believe you don’t like Fallout Boy……

I’m not sure what Momo was doing at the time. I think she left the room, maybe?

A couple of days later I asked Ali if she had heard of Childish Gambino, who is one of D’s favorites right now. She said no and I proceeded to play his song “3005”, which I ADORE and which–oops–also happens to have the F word and the N word in the first twenty seconds.

“Oh gosh, your mom will not really like for you to listen to this. Forget I played it for you…but it’s good, right?”

Ah yes.

Connecting with teens over music? I highly recommend it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go study up on Screamo and K-Pop, because I’m headed to New Jersey in April and last I heard, those kids were still listening to that stuff and I’m weak in those categories.


  • Elaine A.

    I feel like this with Jennifer’s daughter because we are both singers. One of the last times I was at their house we sang “Let It Go” together. Love that kid. It’s so fun to be with our good friends’ kids. Maybe since we aren’t in charge of them… 🙂

  • Momo

    We were in the car! I was trapped with the music! Gah! You should bond with my kids over chores. Those are fun! You could talk about emptying the bathroom trash cans or doing the dishes! I think those are excellent bonding topics. Just sayin’.

    • Melisa Wells

      Wait, WHO was trapped with the music in the car? I think that was Melisa. 🙂
      I’ll work on chore-bonding next visit.