Parents spend a lot of time introducing their young children to things.

But the fun really begins when the child is old enough to start exposing you to new things.

My two teenagers have made me aware of retro music, art and comics/manga I never would have noticed on my own before.

When I was a teenager, mass culture was still the norm. That is, to be a 16 year old girl in 1982 meant you almost certainly listened to Duran Duran music, or were at least very aware of it.

Today that’s no longer the case. Mass culture is over and we are all about subcultures now.

This means a teen girl is as likely to listen to Frank Sinatra or other music from the past as she is Lady Gaga. It’s possible for her to be interested in indie artists most of her peers have never heard of.

It also means my daughters listen to music I wouldn’t have given the time of day at their age because it’s music from my parents’ generation. It wasn’t cool to do that back when mass culture dictated what you listened to.

It’s like a reverse generation gap. Recently my 17 year old daughter pulled into the driveway and Frank Sinatra was blaring from the speakers.

A Madonna song was blasting from my computer speakers because I was doing an exercise workout. I quick hit the mute button, much like I would have back when I was a kid and one of my parents walked into the room.

Anyway, I now routinely listen to retro music, thanks to my kids.

One of the things I’m now studying as a result of my oldest daughter’s interests is Andy Warhol.

I only gave Warhol the merest edge of attention when I was a teenager. I probably thought it was weird that he liked to paint things like Campbell’s soup cans.

But when I listen to my daughter talk about how we was able to notice the beauty in everyday objects, I decided I needed to check out Warhol’s art.

So at the library the other day I did exhaustive research…I checked out a children’s picture book about Warhol. (Of course my daughter checked out a giant Warhol book that’s two feet long and several inches thick.)

This picture book was a very fun read.

It’s called Uncle Andy’s and was written and illustrated by his nephew, who is an artist. It’s a very charming look at his visits with Uncle Andy and gives you a look at Warhol’s art and everyday life.  Even if you couldn’t care less about Warhol, you’d enjoy this book.

It’s a good thing I checked out the Warhol picture book instead of the giant book, because there’s a stack of books my 14-year-old daughter checked out today, in hopes that I’ll read them. Keeping up with their interests could become a full time job.

She’s the one who exposed me to Color My World by Petula Clark from 1966. It’s one of her favorite songs and it’s now one of mine too. It’s an appropriate name because her and my other daughters’ interests really do color my world.


Filed under: BooksInspirationParenting


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