Raising an American Boy on Eurovision

Our son Kieran is four years old. This past Christmas was the first one that he really understood what was going on. He knew that pretty lights went up all around the neighborhood. He knew it was time for us to visit family and for family to visit us. He knew he had to visit Santa to ask for a gift (he wanted proper dominoes), and he knew he had to leave cookies out as a treat for Santa when he arrived. When he was three, Christmas was fun. But Christmas when Kieran was four was a blast.

I mention this because this year is the first year Kieran understands what the Eurovision Song Contest is. Keep in mind that he’s been listening to Eurovision songs all his life. And around three years old, he began to request songs while we were driving. Songs like “OPA!”, “Manboy,” and “Playing with Fire” became integral parts of our lives. We have heard them enough that Kieran sings along with them now. And if you told me last year at this time that “The Social Network Song” would rival “Cobrastyle” and “Bulletproof” (two of Kieran’s non-Eurovision faves) at the top of our most played songs in iTunes, I would have cried the tears of the damned.

But this year, Kieran has become engaged with Eurovision. He is requesting “Igranka” and “Alcohol Is Free” as we drive him to school. He is singing along with “Love Kills,” “Here We Go” and “Shine” and dancing along to just about everything (although “Alcohol Is Free” is still his favorite dance jam). He is even asking to watch specific episodes of comedian David Morgan‘s Eurovision Highlights. (The one where Morgan analyzes “Gravity” is his favorite.)

We know that someday, when he’s older and develops his own independent musical tastes, he is going to hate Eurovision and regard it the way most Brits do: as a kitschy festival of lameness. And he’ll think we are lame and out of touch by association. And that’s okay, because per Patton Oswalt, we’ve done our duty as boring square parents and raised a cool kid. But we’re going to miss the days of Kieran singing along with “Popular,” just as we’re going to miss the anticipation of Santa’s visits. So we’re going to enjoy this now and hope it lasts as long as possible.

3 thoughts on “Raising an American Boy on Eurovision”

  1. Oh, don’t bet on it. My daughter who’s now 18 and pretty cool in her musical taste still watches Eurovision with me every year and has informed (not asked) her boyfriend that they’re not going anywhere on the 18th. When she was nine she cried because I had to go away for work on ESC weekend “but it’s like Christmas eve in other families”. And ordered me to vote for Sweden from Brussels. So if you raise them right, it’ll never go away. Ever. Mooahahah.

    Then again, we’re not only European, we’re Swedish so it’s not really comparable.

  2. Oh Inca, you don’t know how happy that comment makes me! I’m hoping it does stick with him.

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