Meeting your children

I’ve been given an opportunity to get to know my daughter in a new way. She’s got a podcast.

She got laid off from her radio job because of the pandemic. Rather than wallow in self- pity, she pulled together a home studio for voiceover work. And that led to a podcast. She combined her knowledge of the music industry with that curious mind I’ve always loved, and the result is, well, enlightening when you’re her mom.

The first thing I learned is that I’d like her even if she weren’t my daughter. She’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s interested in things that I find fascinating.

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The similarities I’ve always noted between us extend to our preferred working styles. She’s a seat-of-the-pants flyer. She likes to come to interviews with an open mind and see where the conversation leads. I have also interviewed people for a living. That’s my style, too. It’s apparently bitten her in the butt, just as it did me on occasion, but it’s also led to some really surprising conversations.

Her chat with a bass player about an animated movie he really liked led to a deep examination of life and death. The episode with a record-label owner veered into not only the planned discussion of children, but a conversation about whether it is actually possible to change your essential nature.

Last night, the tables were turned, and my daughter was the one being interviewed on someone else’s podcast. The host of that podcast is a dear friend of mine, and it was delightful to listen in as my daughter and my friend got to know each other. It was a long, rambling, completely entertaining episode. The topics went everywhere: from podcasting to music, bands, the importance of friends, the future of the music industry, to mindfulness, to Taylor Swift.

I sat and worked on a jigsaw puzzle while I listened, and I found myself feeling like a very contented fly on a wall. I learned a few things about the woman who is my daughter. I heard things I knew but had forgotten. She talked about values and sexism and the importance of authenticity. She sounded like my favorite kind of people.

She’s a force, that girl. I’m lucky to know her.

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Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.

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