How an American Idol taught my daughter an important life lesson

I was mocked.

I remember when the first season of American Idol was announced. People at work laughed at me for being excited for the show’s debut. But I didn’t care. I knew I would be enthralled with it.

Granted, I watch the reality show less and less these days. It lost its appeal. Not to mention life has my schedule a little booked.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t myself reap the rewards of its Idols. I am a teeny bopper at heart.

So this past weekend as I was listening to Kelly Clarkson’s new album, Amara asked me a piercing question.

What does it mean when she says, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’?”

I shook my head. Why do I always end up with the profound eight-year-old? How could I make this song lyric resonate with a third grader?

So I did the only thing I could do. I compared it to the one thing that has consumed our lives the last few months.

It's no secret. Divorce is painful. It shreds families apart. And good people turn ugly.

I told Amara even though some days may seem long and dark, she will get through this time. And she will see how she is a better person because of it.

This will transform her. For the better.

Yes, there were days when I just wanted to die. My heart literally hurt. I was nauseous. Dizzy. I couldn’t breathe.  For what seemed like an eternity, I asked God for a sign, a way out. I waited. But I can’t blame anyone for where I am in life. I realized I had to just move forward and thrive.

In with that, I will become stronger. She will become stronger.

And with her gorgeous brown eyes, she looked at me and said she’s already gone through chaos she never imagined she would live through. Then she told me about the great sadness she felt after my mother’s passing.

Damn you American pop culture for having relevance and infiltrating in on my child’s character.

So guess what? Apparently mayhem will toughen you up. And an American Idol does know what she's talking about. What doesn’t kill you will prepare you to deal with the heartbreaks of life.

You just have to hope there are people around that can nurture and care for you as you fight.


  1. i feel as if kelly clarkson comes out with an album at the most perfect times and I feel that this entire one fits perfectly for me this time around my current situation.

    strange how that works out, right?

    side note- amara rocks.

  2. Thinking of you both and sending love vibes your way.

  3. Kids today know and understand so much more than we think they do. It is hard to watch them struggle with things that are hard for us but just like you she will get through it. Hang in there. It will get better. (((Hugs))) to you, my friend. - Lana


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