Ensuring you have the right words when saying goodbye isn’t easy. When dropping my daughter off at college, this was the challenge I faced. There were so many things I wanted to impart to her. Being a writer and an empath makes me guilty of being too wordy. I knew my mushy tendencies would not hold my daughter’s attention. She may be a reader, but what kid wants to read a lecture from their mother? Faced with too many sentiments, lessons, and words of wisdom and love, I had to pair it down. I couldn’t exactly remind her to wear sunscreen.
I settled on making her a Spotify playlist. Based on song lyrics, I tailored what I wanted to say but couldn’t find my own words. There were a handful of specific songs I knew I had to include; the rest took a lot of time. For as much time as I spent mulling over everything I wanted to convey, in the end, the whole playlist could have consisted of a single song. The song that surprised her the most, captivated her attention and gave me the loudest voice was a throwback to the 1990s. Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen, by Baz Luhrmann, was the most poignant. https://open.spotify.com/album/30NOuZiJRlawF26dmWVaJo
Everyone can benefit from the wisdom of the song’s words. The lyrics remind us all to be thankful for what we have and express gratitude for what we receive. Tips and perspectives are simplified into bite-sized life lessons. These are words to live by.
My daughter knows I love her without a song to tell her that. She’s also smart enough to see the importance of Being Humble and Kind (Tim McGraw) or that she’s Beautiful (Christina Aguilera). What didn’t hurt to remind her of is that Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen.