(On the way home from school today, Miss Ten and I were listening to the radio, as usual. "There She Goes" by The La's was playing.)

Miss Ten: (singing/humming along with the song, then pausing to speak) Mom? Nobody likes the music I like.

Me: Welcome to my world.

Miss Ten: Huh?

Me: Continue.

Miss Ten: It's so frustrating. I start talking about a song at school and everyone's like, what? They only know pop music. I mean, I like some pop music, but not only pop music.

Me: Well, try not to be too bummed out. You've been raised in a super-music-centric household with lots of weird bands. It's more normal for everyone to listen to what's on regular radio and TV, especially kids your age. There isn't a right or wrong.

Miss Ten: (Boy Classmate) loves the Beatles, though!

Me: See! That's great, right?

Miss Ten: There's one kid who can't listen to anything later than the 1800s.

Me: What? Hahah! Really? Whoa. Hmm.

Miss Ten: Yes! It's like, serious.

Me: Hmm. Maybe the parents think only classical music is good.

Miss Ten: Oh, yeah.

Me: Well, that's up to them. Your friend can listen to whatever later in life. Parents have been unhappy with pop music, well, forever. Some parents. There's sometimes some basis to it. Some stuff is so bad, or the lyrics are very violent or demeaning to women and such. That's not great.

Miss Ten: Well, I know, but not all music says bad stuff.

Me: I think we've talked a lot about how powerful music can be. It can influence your thinking negatively, but not if your foundation is already solid. You have to learn how to think critically about things, question them, think about what the words are trying to say. There's some bad language that's just silly, and some that's nasty. I'm not a fan of songs that use bad words about women.

Miss Ten: Who would be?

Me: Frustrated doofs.

Miss Ten: Haha! Women are great!

Me: Remember at the Flaming Lips shows? Wayne Coyne swears a lot. It bothered you but we talked about it, and then it was OK. He just gets kind of excited. He's not angry.

Miss Ten: Right, he's just WAYNE COYNE!

Me: And you didn't start swearing just because a guy onstage did.

Miss Ten: Nope. And you would be really mad, anyway, if I did.

Me: Yup.

("Step" by Vampire Weekend comes on the radio, and Miss Ten sings and hums along.)

(self-portrait by Miss Ten)