Well, Uber and I had “the talk” this week. I know its strange, but up until now, he hasn’t shown much interest. And at 14, I was kind of hoping maybe his friends had filled him in on most of the details already. I don’t care how many public service announcements you see, you still don’t think it applies to your kid.
I’m talking, of course, about illegally downloading music. (You people jump to way too many conclusions, you know?)
Uber got his first MP3 player this past week as a cool gift at a Christmas party he attended. I know that some kids probably have MP3 players built into their cribs, but Uber has just never shown much interest in music until now. As music obsessed as I am, I’m thinking maybe he was accidentally switched with some other kid in the hospital nursery. There was this one baby who looked like he was tapping his toe in time to the heart monitor. Poor kid. He’s probably trying to figure out how the heck he got stuck with a family that doesn’t even know who U2 is.
Nevertheless, I’m kinda attached to the sprawling teenage geekling now, so . . . no hard feelings.
But in the past couple of months, even Uber has started taking a bigger interest in bands, musical genres, and the like. And strangely enough, right at the crux of his burgeoning interest, an MP3 player magically appears. You would have thought he had gotten the golden ticket. He was beside himself with excitement, and by the next morning he was exclaiming over all the great music he had found online, and how cool the bands were, and how easy it was to download, and how frustrated he had been at first when he realized his player wouldn’t play certain songs because they had this stupid DRM-thingie on them, but that thankfully he had discovered this awesome free online program that removed the DRM from the files, and…
In my morning fog, it took me a minute to register that last bit. Dang. Can’t a girl even finish her bagel before she has to go into full parent-mode??
Uber was crushed when I explained that music doesn’t just grow on trees. He was mortified to discover that this brand new hobby of his was actually going to tug at his purse strings. It was very hard for him to comprehend that artists don’t offer their music on a sliding scale, with 14 year old jobless teens being in the most desperately needy category.
But after long philosophical discussions with both myself and his dad (Uber’s very favorite kind!), he gets it now. He said it makes sense that if you really like a band, you are willing to support their efforts to continue making music. I’m very proud of him. He has learned something really important this week, and has matured yet a little more. He is changing daily, right before my eyes.
I’m definitely planning to keep him. Now that he’s finally “got rhythm”, that other stupid U2-free family probably wouldn’t want him anyway.