On Monday, the kids had their rescheduled Valentine’s parties at school. Zi came home with a card she made for us, and in it was a letter her teacher enclosed for us telling the story of Zi bravely singing “Let It Go” in front of the whole class. Her teacher said it had brought her to tears. I love how at such a young age, Zi is a blessing to those around her.
Every day, I tell my girls, specifically, to practice their voices. As girls, I know how hard it’s going to be to find their voices- to know who they are, be comfortable with themselves, AND be able to let themselves be heard. You don’t know how many times I’ve been to meetings, classes, in work, in school, in church, in the group of friends where the guys monopolize the conversation because they just feel comfortable and want to be heard. Even during Bible studies, more men lead the teaching and discussions. Even in the educational scope, statistically, men are in the science field, engineering and math.
My point is that I’m raising three girls who I hope will one day be strong individuals. Not strong, as in obnoxiously loud with only flaccid subjects spewing out for attention. Not strong, as in egotistical in their intelligence and talent. Not strong, as in their pull to be popular because of nice hair and nice clothes. Strong, as in their happiness in being who God intends for them to be, without having any inclination to compete against other females or be jealous of what they have, because they are secure in who they are. Strong, as in having the intellectual capacity to continue learning and contextually dispense their knowledge without fear, but to educate and conduct meaningful dialogues. Strong, as in being comfortable in their abilities, humble yet passionate to share them to their world.
I know this is pretty heavy stuff just from Zi singing a song in front of her peers, but I’m proud of her. Courage is something I much lacked as a child, and having a voice is difficult in this heavily media saturated culture where you’re screwed if you stand for something and screwed if your voice is drowned within the myriad of shouting cacophonies, all vying for attention, all claiming truth.
To my daughters, to the mothers raising girls, say it to them every day: “practice your voice.”
It’s hard enough in your teenage years trying to find your voice; at least, they’ll have a head start practicing how to use it.