Our almost 13-year-old, “Sunshine,” is a musician. Yes, it is something we have cultivated in her but it is also very definitely something she was born with. She is very skilled on the piano, a fine songwriter, and now quite good on the acoustic guitar, which she taught herself. Oddly enough, music is also a part of her story with her birth-family.
For the last several months, Sunshine has been upset with her birth mother. Dee re-entered our lives a little over a year ago after several absent years. As a family, we welcomed this contact as it was something Sunshine had been wanting and hoping for since about age 9. However, after seeing her 2 or 3 times over a period of months, Dee decided to back out again, saying was too painful for her as she has not worked through all of her grief over that initial decision.
This was very hard on our daughter, and has continued to be a source of pain for her. We have talked a lot about it and tried to help her understand it, but for her it was like being rejected all over again. She has been wrestling with it in a mighty way.
Recently, though, I could sense a shift. One day, Sunshine called me into her room to sing me a new song she had written. As she sang, I thought the words sounded like things Dee would say. It turns out it was a message Dee had sent her last year saying how hard it has been for her to live with her regrets, that she was young and probably made the wrong decision. When the song shifts to Sunshine’s perspective, she says, in short, that she thinks Dee has got it all wrong. That it is not her job to make Dee feel better, but that in fact, the focus should be on Sunshine. She says, “You are not the one has to live with your decision, it’s me. Stop complaining about how hard it is on you.”
It was a simply amazing transformation. Sunshine suddenly got that she did not have to make things better for her birth mother and that there was nothing wrong with her. I recognize that this is an issue she will likely be dealing with throughout her life, but I am so grateful that the gift of music her birth mother passed on to her has also aided in her healing. It’s perfect harmony.
Photo credit: Dreena T