Recently Ashley asked me to listen to a song with her. She described it as her favorite song, and then hit play. As I listened to the lyrics of the selected song, Kelly Clarkson's Dark Side, I was struck by the appropriateness of the message.
... will you stay
even if it hurts
even if i try to push you out
will you return?
and remind me who i really am
please remind me who i really am
Ashley is no longer in a place of needing to constantly test to see if I really am strong enough to be her mom, but I know a little piece of the need for reassurance remains. She wants to know that I won't ever give up on her, no matter what. That I will love her, no matter what. That I won't go away, no matter what.
How do I know that? Because I have that same need for reassurance. Just ask my husband.
Did Ashley share this song with me because she wanted to communicate something through the lyrics. Not necessarily. She just likes the song, as a lot of kids her age do. But I responded by telling her that I liked it because of the lyrics. I said I liked what Clarkson was saying because none of us are perfect and yet we all want to know that the people we care about will love us and stick with us anyway.
If you are parenting a wounded child, if you love someone who was once a wounded child, or if your own internal wounded child still cries out to be heard, you too may find these lyrics apt.