"That song gets on my nerves," my niece said, the third time. "I don't like Billy Ray Cyrus."
Â My seven-year-old responded. "It isn't his only song."
Â "Don't care," the niece said. "I hate the song and him."
Â "Have you seen him dance?" Grandmother asked. "He shouldn't."
Â "But he sings good," my daughter said. "And he's a nice person."
Â My sister chimed in. "I hate his hair." The niece snickered and agreed.
Â I patted my daughter's leg. She fought a losing battle but I wanted to show support.
Â "He sings really good," my daughter said. "Did you listen to the rest of the CD? "Achy Breaky" isn't his only song. You'll like his blues."
Â "He should choose long or short, and wear his hair one length." This from a brother who apparently decided the conversation needed another negative voice.
Â My daughter fought tears. "Don't you get it? He's a singer and he sings good."
Â I rescued my daughter by changing the subject. She returned to the conversation on the way home. "Why did they act like they didn't hear me? They ignored everything I said."
Â "They didn't want to acknowledge anything positive about him," I explained.
Â "Every time I said something good, they said something bad." She stopped. "That's why you didn't say anything?" I nodded. She ended the conversation on this positive note. "Thanks for teaching me to be like you so I can like Billy Ray Cyrus."
Â Thank you, Billy.