You Can Not Listen To That Type Of Music

You Can Not Listen To That Type Of Music

 Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP

 I’m not going to lie; my husband Dave and I were not always on the same page with this one. He thought nothing of blaring hard rock songs with questionable lyrics on road trips, on the way to church, and basically whenever we got into the car. His theory was they are going to hear it anyway, so he preferred it came from him first. You may not agree with me but in many ways, this became a theme for our parenting style.  Alanis Morrisette was always a favorite and we listened to Jagged Little Pill more times than I could ever count.  Some years later Rikki opened a Myspace page, the first social media that was really available at that time. We had access to her page so one day I was just scrolling through it and read something that brought me to my knees. She had posted the lyrics to Perfect.  The post simply repeated the words “Sometimes is never quite enough, If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love, Don’t forget to win first place, Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face.” I had forgotten most of the lyrics to the song so I went back and read them, and it made me realize that our gifted, little girl, who we couldn’t have been prouder of, didn’t always feel that way. With all that I thought I was doing right; I hadn’t taught her that she could fall short of perfect and still be perfect in our eyes.

I struggle with that too.  I know I am not expected to be perfect. Cognitively I am aware and yet I beat myself up for falling short as a counselor, a friend, a wife, a daughter, and most often a mother. My children listened to some music with naughty words, and yet they respect us enough never to use them in front of us. As a matter of fact, we had an amazing experience with Rikki in New York right before COVID hit, watching the Jagged Little Pill Broadway Show, reminiscing, crying together, and singing her lyrics. I have no regrets about that. I do regret any minute of any day over the last 32 years where she felt she had to be perfect to please me. She pleases me because she’s, my Rikki. I hope that you will teach your children that perfection is not an option and is not required for you and definitely not for God. They are loved simply because they are who they are, no requirements, and nothing can change that.

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