Let Them Drum

In Margarita Engels’s beautiful poem Drum Dream Girl (a must read for every parent), a little girl wants to be a drummer. But time and time again she is deterred. By archaic gender roles. By her teachers. By her own parents. 

But miraculously, she keeps going. She does not allow the fire in her heart to be extinguished. Finally, she convinces her skeptical father to take her to a music teacher—to see if she is talented enough to make an exception for, to see if she should be allowed to follow her dreams. It turns out, she is. 

The drum dream girl’s

teacher was amazed.

The girl knew so much

but he taught her more

and more

and more 

and she practiced

and she practiced

and she practiced 

until the teacher agreed

that she was ready

to play her small bongó drums

outdoors at a starlit café

that looked like a garden

where everyone who heard

her dream-bright music


and danced

and decided

that girls should always

be allowed to play


and both girls and boys

should feel free

to dream.

We’ve talked before about being a fan. We’ve talked before about letting kids be who they are. In a way, that’s one of the most redemptive parts of the poem. Her father, like Brandon Boulware for a time (whose struggles with his transgender daughter we talked about recently), didn’t believe in her. He tried to change her. But there was a small crack in the door that he’d closed…

And that’s all his determined daughter needed. She wedged her proverbial foot in there to create just enough space to change his mind. That opening,  was enough to open his mind, which was enough for that door to swing wide open. 

Here’s the thing: there’s nothing special about the dad in Engels’s poem. That dad is you. That dad is every parent. We have preconceptions. We have plans. Maybe we’ve even learned by hard-won experience that the life our kids want is a really hard one. The life they are choosing is one we never would have chosen for them. At the very least, we don’t want to have to put up with the racket of their drum kit. 

Let that door be cracked though. Your job, as we’ve said, is to keep the light alive in their lives. Your job is to let them dream. To let them be great. And more than that, to help them become who they are meant to be.

P.S. This was originally sent on May 6, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

Sign Up to get our FREE email.
One piece of timeless parenting advice, delivered daily.

Sign Up to get our eBook

“20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday”



Recent Posts



We’re going to tackle all the big themes of our time and of all time: Grit. Resilience. Curiosity. Compassion. Character. Unconditional love. Finding purpose. Dealing with stress. Masculinity. Female empowerment. Loss. Stillness. Truthfulness. Initiative. Creativity. Passion. Family. Fun.

Join Daily Dad now and tap into a community of dads all over the world dedicated to becoming the very best dad they can be. you’ll get a daily meditation on the above themes and more.