I went to pick up my son from college for the semester break, which will be about a month long. It was surprisingly really fun (which is hard to say about 8 hours of driving.)
Part of what made it fun was that he had made a special playlist of songs for us to listen to together, which included some of his new discoveries as well as some songs that are mutual favorites.
Then, we put on Panic at the Disco’s first album, which we both really love. Because we both know all the words to every song on that album, it’s a fun singalong for both of us. By now, it has become a tradition that we listen to that album on every trip to or from campus.
He mentioned that he thought it was pretty rare for moms and sons to have singalongs in the car and to like the same music. And I guess I hadn’t looked at it that way, but I think he’s probably right that it’s pretty rare. I know that I don’t have anything similar with either of my other two kids.
I have been feeling kinda left out and overlooked lately, like we had lost a lot of the closeness we used to have. He had gotten so busy with school and he’s also made some really good friends at school, which hasn’t left much time for responding to my messages.
But on the trip home today, it just sorta made up for all of that. He said that although people (including me) always tell him how much he’s like my husband, he doesn’t think enough people acknowledge how much he’s also like me.
We have nearly identical music taste and we hear music the same way, in the sense of identifying qualities of an artist that are similar to another. We are both very passionate about music, too, to an extent not shared by many people.
Amy somewhat shares that passion for music but our tastes are a bit different. We have a few overlapping artists and our tastes are sorta similar enough that we don’t usually find each other’s music taste annoying but it’s more different than mine is with Dylan. Honestly, Amy shares more musical taste with J. (And my relationship with music and J is similar to mine with Amy.)
Chloe has artists she likes but she does not share the general passion for music at all and our tastes are pretty different.
It’s just really pretty unique, I guess, that Dyl and I are both so passionate about music and share so many favorite artists (some of which were already favorites of mine that he even discovered on his own.)
Dylan also told me that he really respects the fact that I’m always trying to become a better person and that he is trying to do the same. That whole topic of personal growth and trying to get in touch with your emotions is something he says he’s learned from me. He remembers how I used to be and knows how much work I’ve put into changing, which inspires him a lot. He’s trying to learn from it and stretch outside his comfort zone.
I guess it was just really good to hear that he thinks he’s gotten a lot of good traits from me, too, because in the past, he’s focused more on my husband’s good traits.
Which is not to say he’s lost any appreciation for my husband’s good traits. He specifically mentioned how much he appreciates that my husband sends him a text every morning, especially because he knows that a lot of mornings my husband is really struggling.
But like he also said, even though my husband is also very supportive of the LGBT community, he thinks that his support is often quieter than mine. He actually thinks that I am a really strong ally, which was nice to hear.
He also said that probably his best friend on campus is a trans woman whose personality and interests actually remind him a lot of Chloe. His friend is very early in her transition and doesn’t think her family is likely to be very accepting and may even kick her out by next summer, once the signs of transition are more noticeable.
So he just told his friend that if she gets kicked out of her house, she can come live with us—before even asking us if it was okay. And while I would like to be asked (and I told him that a lot may depend on how my husband is doing next summer), I love the fact that he doesn’t question my support. I actually really love that a lot.
It doesn’t matter that I’ve never met his friend. If I can help a young trans person who isn’t accepted by her family, of course I will. And I love that he feels so confident in that.
He also said some things that were a little less flattering, or at least more mixed. Like that he sometimes thinks both my husband and I are too nice. He thinks that I don’t take enough time for self-care (true) and that my husband seems like his only reason for living is to take care of us (probably also true, to be honest.)
He doesn’t want to be like my husband, mostly because it just looks so impossible. But he thinks of both of us equally as role models, which is something he’s learned more in college. He’s exposed to so many people who have truly terrible experiences with their parents and he sees that we’re trying our best—and it really matters.
It’s hard not to feel good about that.