Friday, July 24, 2009

Sheltering My Kids from Michael Jackson

I was one of those kids who was a bit beyond my years. Not in smarts or abilities necessarily, but having ten older siblings listening to music, watching TV shows and talking the way they did, I liked to keep up with the older crowd. When I was little, you were more likely to catch me watching Three's Company than Sesame Street. And I still remember the day when my uncle scolded me for encouraging his baby girl to wear nail polish. "We don't wear that around here," he informed me. I was always uncomfortable with kids who didn't "get it," feeling like I lived in a world they couldn't even imagine. They were babies.

Flash forward a few decades, I'm the parent, sheltering my kids from the evil that is Sponge Bob, and the bad influence of Boomerang and Cartoon Network. And you'd never catch us watching local news or an adult show -- not in front of the children (gasp!). I can totally see the difference between my kids and those who, like I was, are subjected to the more interesting things life has to offer.

As I was walking the kids into camp today, I caught a glimpse of some tweens in the church hall working on a dance -- I'm guessing for a show coming up. As they synchronized their fancy moves, I recognized the song right away. Michael Jackson was expressing his denial that Billie Jean was his lover.

She's just a girl who claims that I was the one, but the kid is not my son.

It's a song I heard for the first time when I was just a kid. (I was a HUGE MJ fan before he got a bit freaky for my taste but that's another post.) I knew every last word, never really registering what the song actually meant. So how bad could it be? It's just a song... they're just dancing to it, right? That's what my head kept trying to tell myself but the protective mom in me found it a bit inappropriate. I think if I were the mom of one of those dancing girls, I'd be a little ticked off.

There, I said it.

So, let's hear it. Am I just overreacting and overprotective or would you be annoyed if that was your kid dancing along to it?