With the release of my new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Daughter, folks have been asking me, did I really write a battle hymn? Or was I using my title, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Daughter, as a metaphor?
Hell yeah, I wrote a battle hymn. (It’s in the key of G.) Of course, it’s more a “Battle Hymn of the Mother of a Tiger.” But that made a crappy title for a book, don’t you think?
Here is the beginning of it. Enjoy!
Battle Hymn of the Mother of a Tiger
People wonder how American parents raise such innovative, creative, kick-butt children. What is it that these parents do to create kids with the courage to follow their dreams? Kids who defy the word “stereotype”? Kids capable of seeing beyond the outdated, conventional clichés—Harvard, violin, doctor, lawyer—and into a future that most parents are too old, tradition-bound, and small-minded to even imagine? Well, I can tell you, because I know. Here are a few things that my children, Hana and Isaiah, are never allowed to do:
1) Miss an episode of The Office.
2) Waste their time on extracurricular activities that they don’t love.
3) Pass up important family or social events because they put their own personal enrichment first.
4) Think that they’re better than other kids because of their grades. An “A” can mean excellent, but it can also stand for “asshole.”
5) Brag about awards. The only achievements that matter in the end don’t get awards (character, kindness, compassion, courage, friendship).
I’m using the term “American parents” loosely. Anyone who embraces the Western values of individuality, creativity, and questioning of authority can be American in my book. But let’s face it, most people with these values live in the West.
Specifically, in America.
Quite a few of them live in my house…