My voice is small and meek. In restaurants, waiters and waitresses don't hear my quiet plea for napkins. I usually have to repeat myself during a conversation. Even in my own home, I'm the last person anyone hears. It's frustrating to constantly try to get people to listen to me, especially when I need them to hear me the most. My daughter reminds me that my voice always matters, though. Being a mom means seeing myself through other people's eyes, and it's in my daughter's eyes that I have found my voice.
My almost 11-year-old daughter has so many traits I simply lack. She's bold when I'm cautious, fierce when I'm terrified, and confident when I'm insecure. It's as though she has known how important her voice, is and how far it can carry, since the day she was born. As she grows older and more mature, I've become acutely aware of just how important it is for me to not only teach her how to use her voice for good, but how to set an example by using my voice, too. I want to show her how to walk tall, to speak up for herself, and to never put herself down, even when it's difficult for me to do the same.
In a way, my daughter is teaching me just as much as I am teaching her. With her own fierce, unapologetic, confident voice, I am learning how to speak up, speak out, and be the light that can guide my daughter into adulthood. With that in mind, here are just some of the ways my strong, self-assured girl reminds me that my voice matters. It always has, and it always will.