Today my 10-yr-old daughter got up on stage in front of about 500 people, 400 of her classmates, and sang Katy Perry's "Roar".
And I cried like a baby.
Because there was my tiny daughter, in a tiger dress, dancing and singing the words "You held me down, but I got up, Get ready 'cause I've had enough I see it all, I see it now. I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, 'Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar!".
So I cried because once I was 10 years old and I didn't know what pop music was and I didn't go to school and I was forced to sing hymns for family members at Thanksgiving even though I hated it.
And I wasn't allowed to listen to "rebellious" music, and I didn't have a voice beyond what I was supposed to sing and say.
Because my voice was a reflection of my parents and not mine at all.
Because I wasn't allowed to express dissatisfaction with my life or overcoming or to be proud of myself because pride was the Devil's sin.
Because I loved to sing and play the piano and my only outlet for my talent was classical music or special music at church.
Because when I was 18, I performed "When You Say Nothing at All" at a family party, and my mom told me afterward that she was ashamed because I was singing about sex and it wasn't appropriate for an unmarried, pure girl.
I cried because I'm so proud of the person that my daughter is becoming and the struggles she has faced and will face because of ADHD, and she's singing about being her own person and rebelling against anyone that wants to take her down and make her into something more acceptable.
Because she does not care what anyone thinks of her, she just sings her soul in a tiger dress.
Because she's 10 and she has a voice and I love her voice and it has nothing to do with me.
Because she will never know what it feels like to not have her mother as her biggest fan and ally.
Because I don't understand how any mother could treat their daughter the way my mother treated me. There are no excuses good enough, certainly not the God excuse.
Because I'm 32 and have only recently found my voice and let it roar.
Because as I parent my children, I am exposing, grieving, and healing the broken places in my own heart. And it's painful and it hits me out of nowhere. Even in the middle of a 4th grade talent show.
You held me down, but I got upAlready brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready 'cause I've had enough
I see it all, I see it now.
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar