It’s not easy to know

I just recently returned from a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. We have visited a few times before. For my wife, Yellowstone was made special during her childhood. She shared it with me not long after we started dating and it was time to share it with our kids now that they are old enough to remember it. It was a great trip, and I loved every part of it. One of the best parts of our vacation came on the road to the park. From where we live its a considerable drive and my wife prepped the car like a champ. She had snacks, games, a book to read aloud, and a handpicked selection of music that intermingled modern music with classics from decades past. On one of the legs where we listened to music, we landed on Sara’s song (shared above) from her musical Waitress. We’ve heard it before, and my wife was singing, and we enjoyed it per usual. It never occurred to me that our newest daughter was studying the words. She loves to sing along and usually mumbles her way through any song. We have played songs that we know she has heard a million times and she doesn’t know the words, so we just assumed she like the melodies and humming, but isn’t really paying attention. So at the first pit stop after that song, I was standing with her, and she says to me, “Dad, that song is me.” You should know, many songs had played between when this song was played and when we stopped. My response to her was “What song?”. Apparently, she had read the car display because she responded with “The She’s mine song.” I nodded at her and asked, “Why is that song you?”. After thinking about it she said, “because I feel like that sometimes, and I lie.” I comforted her and gave her a squeeze. When I got in the car, I was still thinking about all the words in the song. So I told Cheryl what she said and asked her to play it again and after the song was over… we cried for a few miles.It didn’t help the crying that we looked at her through the mirrors and she was passionately singing/mumbling along. Keep in mind that she isn’t processing the song’s full message, but from what we can tell she is keying off the chorus.

She’s imperfect, but she tries
She is good, but she lies
She is hard on herself
She is broken and won’t ask for help
She is messy, but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie
She is gone, but she used to be mine

She saw us crying and gave us a huge and loving smile from way in the back. This song is now forever in my mind a sign that she is learning to value herself. It’s not easy to know that maybe she has felt lonely or broken, but it is awesome to know that she sees goodness and kindness and together it makes her uniquely beautiful. Because it does.