As writer and performer Polly Frost tells it, helicopter parents — those very worried people who dote on their children up to and through college — would never have approved of some of the people she met growing up. There was the riding instructor who, despite being influential and great in her job, also knocked back whiskey and smoked in front of her young charges. There was the 22-year-old lover who seduced her 16-year-old self, but because he threw some Johann Sebastian Bach onto his turntable while they made out, he started Ms. Frost’s lifelong love of classical music.
“Who do you actually learn the most from?” Ms. Frost rhetorically asks. “It’s not the so-called ‘good role models.’ They only show you their success and not the problems getting there. The people who really gave me wisdom about life were very imperfect and let me see their mistakes.”