Watching Your Kid Geek Out: Kaylee and “Hey, Soul Sister”

Here’s something I never would have expected the first time I heard the song “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train: I have actually come to love this tune.

Now, there are some of you out there thinking, “Chris, you are a pop bubblegum whore. How did you not see that coming?” And yeah, you’ve got a point there. But here’s the thing: every time I heard this track for the first six or nine months (or however long it’s been since it hit the airwaves), I skipped away from it as fast as I could. The first time I actually sat down and listened to it was just a week or two ago, just after my daughter Kaylee started singing along to it at the Manchester offices of W.I.C. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the song featured the word “sister” so much, a role that she’s adjusting to rather well, but something about this song grabbed her. And so, I started listening too, because I had to figure out what it was.

That’s how the experience of listening to “Hey, Soul Sister” has become, for me, entirely shaped by my daughter’s appreciation for it. And now, when I hear it in the car without her singing her own garbled interpretation of the lyrics, I actually think something’s missing. The experience is only perfect when we’re sharing it. The experience is only right and true when I get to see her geeking out about a song in the same way I do.

It’s an interesting thing to arrive at an appreciation for a tune because of your kid. I mean, sure, there comes a point in any parent-child relationship when the child starts bringing songs to the table, as opposed to the parent. But does this usually happen at four years old? And, if it does, does it usually happen with anything other than a Disney song?

Here’s a question for those of you with kids out there: what songs have your children introduced you to that you can’t listen to without thinking of them?