Swedish Bobo Music

April 5, 2016 — 65 Comments

Tween boy

Apparently, if you are searching for “Baba O’Reilly” on Spotify, and your kid is trying to wrestle the phone out of your hand so he can search for “Swedish House Mafia,” the search term morphs into “Swedish Bobo.”

Little Dude – is not so little anymore.

He’s 12, in middle school now, and he has LOT of opinions.

For one thing, he’s prefers electronic dance music to rock music. I like EDM when I’m wasted in a club, dancing at 2 am (which hasn’t happened a lot lately), but for purely listening purposes? Not so much.

He also listens to whatever is on Spotify’s Top 50. It ranges from “please pour battery acid in my ears”  to Twenty One Pilots. I know they are puppets of a soulless music industry, but I like them. They appeal to my inner angsty eighth grader.

I made Little Dude listen to Brian Eno, one of the pioneers of ambient music in the 70’s. Some might argue that ambient and electronic music aren’t necessarily connected, but too bad. I wanted my kid to know who Brian Eno is so I connected them.

Little Dude has braces now. They make him look like a little teenager and are a constant source of torture for both of us. I don’t always spend money I don’t have, but when I do, it’s $5000 on braces for a kid who accuses me of ruining his life between bites of jello.

He wears AXE deodorant. It smells horrific, but according to its last ad campaign, should have him kicking car doors open in no time.



He always woke at 6:30 am on the weekends, raring to go. I spent years teaching him to entertain himself and not wake Mama up until a more civilized hour.

When he was five, I had him convinced that those early Saturday am hours were HIS “alone time,” and he was free to watch movies and eat snacks and do whatever it is that five-year olds do when they have “alone” time.

I woke up at 8 am on one of those Saturdays, patting myself on the back because he let me sleep in. I stepped onto the top step of my stairs and tripped on a pencil that was rigged to protrude off of the step. It was tied to an empty soda can which I rolled over, and I tumbled down the stairs.

Little Dude had watched Home Alone early that morning, and decided to copy Kevin McCallister and booby trap my house. Did I mention he was FIVE?

A few months ago, I woke up at 8 am and my kid wasn’t up. By 9 am, I was in his room, putting a compact mirror under his nose to see if he was breathing.

Now, he sleeps sometimes as late as 11:00 am. Last Sunday, I celebrated by making myself a mimosa and listening to the local police scanner on my phone app and it was AWESOME.


His hormones are kicking in, which means he’s often moody and unpleasant. Normally, I don’t tolerate that, but this is different. He’s experiencing emotions he doesn’t even understand.

He simultaneously has the worst hygiene of his young life, while still managing to disappear upstairs for an inordinately long time when showering.

I don’t even want to think about that. EW.

He got an email from a girl the other day, a girl he’s told me he likes. When I asked him if she was pretty, he said, “Why does that matter? She is, but that’s NOT why I like her. She’s smart and nice.” I wish some boy in middle school had liked me, despite my braces, glasses and frizzy hair. I was in an awkward stage that lasted until 2015.

This girl had actually emailed him a copy of some Harvard admission essays. They’re in SIXTH GRADE.


Little Dude still enjoys spending time with me, one on one. Over spring break, we did a bunch of cool stuff together. We saw “Deadpool,” which was a little mature for him. How did I miss that it’s rated “R”? Luckily, he’s so innocent, all the sexual innuendos went right over his head.

At the end, he insisted we stay until the end of the credits. He was convinced there would be some kind of “bit” at the very, very end.

He was right.

As we left the movie, LD impulsively grabbed my hand in the parking lot. I acted like it was no big deal, but it was. He’s still very affectionate with me, but never in public.


Sometimes, he asks if we can talk, to help him sort through feeling lost or confused. We have talks that last hours.

Thank you Lord, Buddha, and All The Gods, that my kid still wants to talk to me about whatever is troubling him. Any day now, he’s going to become a Teenager, discount my opinion and silently plot my death.


He’s in such an odd place right now; no longer a boy, but not yet a teen. It’s a complicated, confusing and probably scary place for him.

It’s confusing for me, too. I want to hold on and let go all at the same time.
Most of all, I want it to slow down.

Slow down, baby boy.  I don’t want to miss a thing.


“I’ll Come Running” by Brian Eno. I can’t even tell you how much I love this song.


Do you ever wish you could slow down your kids’ growing up? How much longer do I have until he stops thinking I’m cool?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter  so I can have friends without leaving the house.

65 responses to Swedish Bobo Music


    This is beautiful and it’s all dusty in here now. I love that song, by the way. LOVE IT.


    Welcome to the wonderful life of raising teenagers. I have two of them in the house. Poor me.


    Um… isn’t Deadpool rated R?
    I could be wrong…

    And there is electronics for every mood. Downtempo for chilling. Techno to get amped up. Trance for clubbing. Breakbeat for the small hours of the morning where you still need some energy to get you home, but need to start calming down a little. If he hasn’t heard it already, you should both listen to The Crystal Method’s “Vegas” album. It’s a classic, and the whole album is fantastic.


      You are the King of Electronic Music! You really know so much about it. Breakbeat? Is that a subgenre?
      I’ll definitely have him listen to that album.

      And was Deadpool rated R? What the fuck was I thinking? I remember Ryan Reynolds petitioning to get it changed to PG 13, and I thought it was.
      #EpicParentingFail hahahahahahaha


    I hear you on the slow down. And really?? He’s already thinking about admission to Harvard?? Yikes.


      I don’t even know if college is the answer anymore. He’s gonna have a zillion dollars in student loans to pay off, and who knows what kind of a job market there will be?

      Ugh. I’m not gonna get anxious about something that’s not going to happen for six years. I have enough stuff to be frantic over now.


    I was so very touched by this and felt its melancholy. I still get a hug and an occasional “I love you” from my 16 year old before he leaves for the bus. Have faith. (and it’s way too early for the long shower thing, but you know this…)


      So, I’m sitting here with my boy, just chilling, and answering comments on my phone. He’s tinkering on his tablet.
      And he just said, “I love you, mom. So much.”

      He says that all the time, out of nowhere. It’s gorgeous. It happened just as I was about to answer your comment, and I thought I’d share it with you. xo


    This may have already been addressed but Deadpool is Rated R! Either way, no biggie – I saw Body Double when I was 13 so…

    Enjoy this. Most of the time it doesn’t last long. In my case, I’m like ‘enough already!’ (mine’s 24 and still living with us. Pray for me).


      I’m perfectly fine with my kid living with me at 24, as long as he’s working and helping to pay bills, and saving towards getting a place of his own.
      I’ll pray, though 🙂


    “I want to hold on and let go all at the same time.” I hear ya Momma. Right there with you. My Little Dude is 13, but because he’s got some developmental delays (I hate that phrase because it makes it sound like he’s going to catch up, when the fact is, his brain wiring is very different and will never be “normal”), he is physically maturing right on schedule, but emotionally is a little bit behind. What’s been kicking our asses lately with puberty is his anxiety is now off the charts and we’re trying to deal with it. And about their sleeping late and checking to see if they’re still breathing, and the kid having the worst hygiene: yup – right there with you on that too. My LD is officially more than an inch taller than me now. Definitely moving into teen-hood.


      My kid has ADHD, and sensory issues, and some of his issues have gone HAYWIRE with the onset of puberty. I totally hear you. I’m sure it’s hormonal, and I hope it eventually evens out.

      Anxiety. Ugh. As if being 13 isn’t challenging enough. Hope your boy is okay. 💜


        Right there with you too. My kiddo has SPD, ADHD, and anxiety. (He’s super sensitive to the energy of his environment). We had to pull him out of school a few weeks ago to homeschool him. No schooling going on yet. His anxiety is really fucking with him big time right now (has him up all night, sleeping all day). But I know that things will be ok in the long run- just really hard right now (just wrote about it). BTW, I love your writing.


        I just read your latest.
        I wish only the best for your son. For both our sons.


    So cool that you’re sensitive to his discomfort Samara. One way or another,he’ll be fine because he has someone who loves him,


      I don’t think our parents realized how hard this transition is. I’m just glad I’m aware of it, and that my kid chooses to talk to me about it.

    Gretchen Kellaway April 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I have a tween- in fact in one month and some odd days I will officially be the mother of a teenager. Gone is my little elfin baby and in his place is this serious almost man child… and there are days I want my little buddy back. I want time to slow down. I go back and look through photos and wonder when it all started really changing. Yes, I have three more to hold on to while he goes through this metamorphosis. But he’s my first and was my mini and my best buddy and I feel lost and lonely in the changes.

    Slow down kid. Mom isn’t ready for all this change.


      I think there’s something wistful about your first, your mini turning 13…
      Mine will be 13 in November. He’ll be getting bar mitzvah’d then, so I’ll really be hyper aware of his age.

      We live pretty near one another. I think we should get together and have a good cry about this.

        Gretchen Kellaway April 6, 2016 at 1:44 am

        We definitely should. It would be good for us both to have someone to cry with!

        He taught me how to be a mom, set me on this path. They are all special, but he is the first and is so very different from the others.


    Ah, I’m with you, Samara (and Gretchen, too.) This is right in my wheelhouse, the constant holding on to let go. It kills me. And I am about ten minutes away from braces, AXE deodorant and long showers (although my boys do like to suds it up something fierce in the tub, so maybe we’re there already.) Love that Brian Eno song. Tanya Donnelly singing Littlewing. Might not be your thing, but the words… “I want to tell you everything, I want to spare you everything”
    “He’s my first and was my mini and best buddy…” from Gretchen’s comment above. Just, yes.


      Gretchen has 4 boys, and she adores them. Are you two friends on facebook? I can connect you. You two would get along beautifully.

      I almost can’t take it, Jen, this growing up thing. It’s too soon. I’m not ready. I absolutely love this age- he’s still young enough to want to hang out with me, but he’s old enough to have a really meaningful conversation with me.
      I’m going to go find that song now. Xox


        He’s going to want to hang out with you forever, I’m pretty sure. Love is love. Respect is respect. (Although I’ll acknowledge that hormones are hormones and teens are teens. Egads.) And I’ll look for Gretchen on FB for sure!


    Let me tell you something, my dear, sweet, friend…when I opened my feeder and saw that pic of ‘Another Green World’ I just about crapped myself. That album was a big, big deal to me. ‘Here Come the Warm Jets’ and ‘Taking Tiger Mountain’ too, but not as much as that one. I bailed out on ‘Music for Airports’ and ‘Music for Film.’ Eno was supposed to speak at a music conference in the meatpacking district in May but the event was cancelled. Yes, ‘I’ll Come Running,’ but ‘Skysaw’ was mine.

    You’d think EDM is a natural progression from Eno but I just hate it. It’s an insult to musicians. That’s how I know I’m old. Currently, my 14-year old is listening to ‘Hamilton,’ which is very, very good.


      And I love the album artwork. Just beautiful. Wow. My mind is blown.


      This album was also so, so important to me. I understand. It’s achingly beautiful; it’s art and music and sound all wrapped up in something so groundbreaking, I don’t even think the musicians knew at the time they would be making musical history.

      And the people who played on this? John Cale, Robert Fripp, Phil Collins, Percy Jones?

      I loved “Taking Tiger Mountain” and “Here Come the Warm Jets” as well, but yes, this one is special. It’s 40 years old, and it still fills me emotions I can’t even articulate.

      “Skysaw” is a masterpiece. I didn’t put it here, because 1. It doesn’t make me think of my son and 2. I didn’t want to scare away all my readers.

      You’re my brother from another mother. I’m so glad this brought you back.


    LOL- Blogasm? Love it! if it is any comfort to you. Hang on tight.

    I had two boys. One like LG, the other Mr. Independent. They will go through stages where they ask the questions while sifting out what to keep and what to discard adding it to what his peers have to offer. (Pretty much like we did). They will go through stages where your opinion isn’t worth a dime. At some point, it turns back around and they once again think you have something worthy to say. My boys came around sooner than my girls, except when it came to cooking and cleaning.
    Mr. Independent is still that but loves to share what he is going through. He has a sweet but neurotic wife plus three lovely children. He does talk to me but more to one of his older sisters who pretty much parrots what I would have said anyway, so it works out. I actually thought my boys more emotional. Rightly so. With sex roles and expectations changing, it is very difficult for men these days.
    It sounds like you’re doing a great job. The most important thing is being there and listening more than telling. Ask the right questions and they will figure things out.


      I’ve heard that boys can pull away, but come back. I hope so. I love the relationship I have with my son, and I’d like to think I’m building a forever thing.

      Thanks for your vote of confidence. You’re an experienced mom. It means a lot to me!


        A lot depends on who they pick for a life partner. It can be difficult at times because even the sweetest gals are competition for attention. Always make her your friend and that isn’t always easy. My mother in law gets along with one daughter in law and that’s me, but I don’t try to change her. Learning to accept people for who they are is half the battle. We can be friends despite our differences. My sister in law won’t.


    I’ve raised two boys and was astounded at the “boy/goat smell” when they went into hormonal overdrive. That said, there’s something great about sons. My guys still love to talk and share and they’re in their early 20’s. Sounds like you’re close to your son. I’m sure you always will be.


    Great post Samara. What did shock me was a price for braces. It livied until know thinking in every country in the world this is free for kids.


    Long showers aren’t automatically ewful. I tend to spend relatively long time because it’s one of the few times where I am separated from a phone or computer screen, and I can think there without any distractions.


    This, all this. Mine just turned twelve, is one inch shorter than me and passed me in shoe size six months ago. (We do still share the same taste in music, mostly, thankfully. He just left to hit a Springsteen concert with his dad tonight. I’m sure he’ll be stressing about the late return, though.)

    It won’t be long until he’s shaving, either and that will seem like the last bit of childhood stolen from me when I have to get him a razor. Thankfully, the hugs that he shunned at 10 are back in full force, so long as we aren’t in public.


      These hugs are delicious, aren’t they? My kid won’t do them in public but he’s a terrific hugger in private.
      I wonder if that will end, too. Ugh. This is SO hard, isn’t it?


    Well, it sounds like you two are up to some good trouble, so that’s great! Deadpool is Rated R tho, but I remember being at that age and having jokes like that fly over my head — tbh sometimes they still do, lol. There was a great episode of The Goldbergs that covered puberty almost exactly as you described, made me laugh. 🙂


      I can’t believe I thought it was rated PG13! How did I miss that? Thank goodness my kid didn’t understand the racy stuff.

      We LOVE that show! I’ll have to see if I can find that episode on demand. Our favorite part is at the end, when the creator of the show shows actual film footage from his childhood that mirrors the episode! ! It’s awesome!
      Hey, great to see you! Thanks for stopping in.


        lol, don’t worry I often don’t notice the rating for movies, I only knew this one because it has been setting records for an R rated movie.

        Yeah, I love the real life video clips they show at the end. It’s kind of cool to see a dweeb like me making a successful show on TV, now if only I could be so lucky, lol.


        Who says you’re a dweeb?
        Is that the same as a nerd? Or more like a geek?


        Well, I meant it as kind of both. 😀


    Thank you for painting a clear picture of what I have to look forward to in a couple of years.


    My boy is 23 now and when he was last here, he took a relaxing bath (hangover) with his music. He’s the rebel, he’s the one who listens to music that gives me a headache. Slipknot is apparently relaxing bubble bath music for my son. I can’t even. Help me to even? I decided it was a good time to take the dog out for a long walk.


    My sson’s birthday today. I thought he was going to send me to an early dirt nap but I lived to tell the tale. Teenagers can be trying, tiring and terrifying. However, LD sounds like a smart and considerate and sensitive young man. He’s going to be fine. You might not be, though. 😉

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