Andy Grammer’s ‘Wish You Pain’ is the parenting anthem we didn’t know we needed

As parents, our first instinct is to protect our children. It’s a biological imperative, that visceral and primal urge to keep our children away from things that could hurt them.

But sometimes, that instinct can do more harm than good. There’s a fine line between caring and coddling, between sheltering and shielding, and going too far in either direction can hamper our children’s growth.

While we obviously shouldn’t be a source of suffering for our children (as parents, we should be their safe place), do we really want our kids to not experience any struggle? Of course we don’t.

Despite our instinct to protect, deep down we all know that kids need to go through challenges of all kinds in order to learn and grow. That’s the way life works. Physical muscles only grow from being broken down and then healing. Is spiritual growth really any different?

If we don’t go through difficult, painful experiences, our spiritual muscles don’t get worked. If everything’s always easy and our mettle never gets tested, we never discover how strong we are or can be.

Watching our kids go through hard times is tough—but it’s also necessary.

Andy Grammer’s new album (“Naive”—IT’S SO GOOD!!) has a song called “I Wish You Pain,” which basically says, “I love you, so I hope you have to struggle.” It’s not a conventional message, but it’s real.

In interviews, Andy has said the song was inspired by this quote:

“The more you plough and dig the ground the more fertile it becomes. The more you cut the branches of a tree the higher and stronger it grows. The more you put the gold in the fire the purer it becomes. The more you sharpen the steel by grinding the better it cuts.

Therefore, the more sorrows one sees the more perfect one becomes. That is why, in all times, the Prophets of God have had tribulations and difficulties to withstand. The more often the captain of a ship is in the tempest and difficult sailing the greater his knowledge becomes. Therefore I am happy that you have had great tribulations and difficulties. For this I am very happy — that you have had many sorrows.

Strange it is that I love you and still I am happy that you have sorrows.”

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

It is a strange sentiment, isn’t it? And yet it makes sense. If we want or children to become their best selves, they have to grow through difficulties—and that usually means some kind of pain.

I just love this song. I think Andy captured the message perfectly. And it’s catchy, too. Check out the whole album—it’s all just so good.

Lyrics:

I hope your doubts come like monsters
And terrorize your dreams
I hope you feel the lonely hopelessness
‘Cause no one else believes
I hope you question whether you ever really had a chance at all

I hope your fear is thick like poison
It gets into your blood
I hope you push until you cannot breathe
And it’s still not enough
I hope you put your life out on the line 
And everybody watches while you fall

‘Cause I love you more than you could know
And your heart, it grows every time it breaks
I know that it might sound strange

But I wish you pain
Wish you pain
It’s hard to say
But I wish you pain

I hope people break their promises
Leave you in the cold
I hope they beat your heart to pieces
Worse than you’ve ever known
I hope you finally arrive, only to find you’re nowhere close

I hope you cry and tears come streaming down your face
I hope this life traps you in more than you thought you could ever take
I hope the help you want never comes and you do it on your own

‘Cause I love you more than you could know
And your heart, it grows every time it breaks
I know that it might sound strange

But I wish you pain
Wish you pain
It’s hard to say
But I wish you pain

I love you more than you could even know
Been here before and I just wanna see you grow
Want you to grow

‘Cause everything that matters most
I swear it goes by a different name
I know that it might sound strange

But I wish you pain
I wish you pain
It’s hard to say
Wish you pain

I love you more than you could even know
I’ve been here before and I just wanna see you grow
Want you to grow

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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