11-year-old's song tells the story of a child's view of growing up in a police family
"Some parents may not realize that their kids are scared about whether or not they're going to come back home," singer-songwriter Tenley Moran said
Behind every police officer is a family who stands by and supports them.
But that doesn't mean there aren't days filled with stress, anxiety or worries as those families wait not-so-patiently for their officer to return home safely after shift.
As a child, Tiffany Moran watched her father, who served 40 years in law enforcement, go to work and run toward danger. She later decided to become a police officer herself, along with her two brothers. When Tiffany started her own family, her daughter, Tenley, watched her put on the uniform to serve, day-in and day-out.
Now, at 11 years old, Tenley, a singer-songwriter, wants other children of police officers to know they're not alone on their journey of growing up in a police family.
'they didn't ask for this life'
"I wasn't really thinking about the idea that my mom might not come back home one day," Tenley, who was young when her mom served as an officer, recalled. However, her cousins, now older and with fathers who still actively serve in law enforcement, know this worry all too well.
"There are a lot of kids who have police officers for parents. Some of those parents may not realize that their kids are scared about whether or not they're going to come back home," Tenley said.
So Tenley did what she does best – she put all those thoughts and concerns into a song. "I wrote this song to let those kids know they're not alone," she said.
Her original song, "Praying to God," which she wrote and recorded at just 10 years old, has over 64,000 views on YouTube.
"They didn't ask for this life. They were born into it, but now they're having to potentially say goodbye for the last time," Tiffany said. "I had these same feelings as a cop's kid, but there's something about putting it into words and seeing this video come to life that really struck a chord with me. I cried."
The song, Tenley said, tells the story of a child watching their officer parent leave for work – a point of view and perspective she says isn't shared enough.
A solemn reminder for first responder families
Tenley started writing her song in December 2022, which took about two months to complete. The music video, featuring her two police officer uncles, took about one day to shoot and two months to edit.
"I'm part of a cop family. It isn't easy to say goodbye, knowing it may make me cry. Still, they put on their uniforms. I beg and plead for them to stay and yet they still go away," Tenley's first verse says.
The song's bridge, the most important part, according to Tenley, was almost cut.
"I know that it's their choice to serve, but why'd they run toward danger? If we lose them, it's not deserved, while they were protecting strangers," it says.
Tenley's uncles, Tiffany said, were more than proud: "They said that they didn't realize that their kids might have felt this way until they heard this song. The thought that this is what they're going through ... worried about their family ... is heartbreaking."
The song's second verse is a familiar thought for many law enforcement family members: "Grateful they came back to me. It wasn't my last goodbye this time, but it's only for tonight. Tomorrow there's no guarantee."
That sentiment, Tiffany and Tenley agreed, is a solemn reminder for any first responder family.
"This is their chosen profession. It may not be our choice for them, but if something does happen to them, it wasn't in vain. They did it doing something that they love – serving their community and making a difference," Tiffany said.
Her song, Tenley says, is one way she hopes to make a difference and give back to a community that holds a special place in her heart.