Like my brown eyes and curly hair, I've successfully passed my flaming "American Idol" torch down to my young son.
Momlogic's Vivian: Millions of viewers would agree that "American Idol" is irresistibly addictive reality television. I think it's because everyone's sung into a hairbrush at one point or another in their lives.
As a major music lover, I was an early adopter, a total sucker for this cult of musically-inclined personalities since episode uno. So when my big kid hit kindergarten, I decided to start DVRing the show for him, and watching it together quickly became a favorite after-school ritual.
Allow me to rewind a bit: My son's always demonstrated a serious love of music. He has this amazing capacity to memorize lyrics and melodies in a single listening. No bigger smile crosses his face than when one of his favorite songs comes on. It took a few tries, but on his behalf, I managed to convey to his dad why during those three-minute intervals he feels silence is utterly essential, if possible. To my son, soaking in the nuance of his favorite music is not unlike partaking in a sacred meditative rite. He's not just listening to a song, he's trying to learn it.
What can I say? The fruit don't fall far. When I was a kid, I sang in a band or two (or five), taught myself to play guitar, and wound up in the music biz for a spell and Iove, love, loved every minute of it until I neared thirty, and disposed of it before it did me.
In sharing "Idol" with my son, I've discovered it to be chock-full of "teachable moments" for a kid of five or six. For one, as in the case of Adam Lambert last year, you can be really, truly great at something and still not come in first place. And as a devout Lambert enthusiast, I did have to explain why some men enjoy wearing eyeliner (as none of his "guncs" usually do).
But most importantly, "American Idol" shows how much hard work and courage is required to follow your dreams, but if you muster it up, the rewards one stands to gain from keeping at those dreams can be truly amazing. Not to mention how doing what you love can be a humongous reward in and of itself.
This year, I decided to let him watch the audition process as well. I had my hesitations because the rejections can be so harsh, but I realized I'm not doing him any favors in shielding him from the concept of rejection -- on-screen or in reality. You can either be a sore loser, like that big football player dude who lost his mind and spit at the camera, or a graceful clown, like General Larry Platt.
I mean seriously, which of those guys do you remember?
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|