When I was in 9th grade the city I lived in built a new high school that I would attend the following year. I decided new school, new me, so I tried out for cheerleading. Not exactly the "cheer" type because I had long dark reddish-purplish hair, I wore headbanger t-shirts, a leather jacket, and black Doc Martens. I went to a week of cheer try-out practice. I felt good, I started to dress like "them", and I really believed that this was for me. At the end of the week we had our auditions. A week after that I got my letter in the mail. Apparently cheerleading was not for me. I was heartbroken for a few days.
When I was little, in my very small town that revolved around high school sports, I idolized the cheerleaders, including my sister's best friend and my best friend's sister. I knew all the cheers, and sometimes, because they all knew me, I got to stand next to them and cheer along. I got to carry their pom poms and get them water. I wanted nothing more in life than to some day be a cheerleader.
After my disappointment in 9th grade, I swore a vengeance to all cheerleaders everywhere. MY daughter would NEVER be one!Fast forward to last week. The children's youth club here on base offered some free summer camps including cheerleading. We thought we would give it a try. Louisa was in ballet for 5 years, she loves dancing and gymnastics type activities. She's not overly perky, but she's always friendly and cheerful. At the end of the week she decided that maybe cheer wasn't for her. On Saturday, however, I walked in to her room to find her doing cheers to an audience of her brother, her cat, and all her stuffed animals lined up on her bed. She knows my past experience and she knows that I have always had a little "thing" against cheerleaders. I'm guessing part of her apprehension is due to me and what I may have said in front of her. I let her know that it was perfectly ok to like cheerleading. She wouldn't disappoint me or embarrass me if she did.
Today we went to sign her up for cheer for the fall. Last week she just learned some cheers and dances, but this fall she will actually cheer for the flag football team. Louisa said she's a little scared to cheer in front of boys. We talked to daddy about it and he told us that when he was in high school playing football he didn't even notice the cheerleaders, he was too focused on the game. That helped her a little. I hope she likes this and I hope it turns into something good for her.
If not, then we also signed her up for soccer and we'll always have sports to fall back on.