I dreamt a tiger set eyes on my 3-year-old daughter, licked its lips and lept to maul her. Only I was the victim, teeth meeting my chest, as I jumped in front of her. I woke gripping a ladybug pillow pet in a pool of sweat.
I believe the dream was both literal and metaphorical. Literally, as I will be attending the circus with my daughter on Saturday and I wonder whether the tiger trainer will be as unfortunate as Roy Horn. Only this time unleash the beast on the innocent within the seats. Metaphorically, because I live in Silicon Valley and I’m surrounded by tigers…Tiger Moms, that is.
When my dad sent me the WSJ article by Amy Chua, author of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, I just skimmed it and figured it didn’t apply to me. After all, I had no intention of being the type of mother who would starve and potentially impose a UTI on my daughter from lack of bathroom breaks, just to make sure she mastered her piece on the piano.
That was before I realized that I don’t have to be a Tiger Mom to be affected by them. They will graze me and eye my daughter for the rest of our lives. Reading about Tiger Moms, meeting them and trying to understand them, may help me survive them and help my daughter thrive amongst their cubs.
I don’t have to be a Tiger Mom or an anti-Tiger Mom. I just need to be a mom who is aware of what my daughter and I are up against.
I guess quoting Helen Reddy’s, “I am woman, hear me roar”, isn’t best suited here. Michael Corleone said it right, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” They are not my enemy, but I know we are one of theirs.