I should start by telling you that my husband has this thing about cheerleading. I’m not exactly sure why – and really, it’s not important – but he’s adamant that our daughter should not be a cheerleader (remember – she’s 18 months old). In fact, we were having dinner with some friends a few weeks ago and something came up about cheering. He was holding their 3 year old daughter – I think he was lifting her up and joking that he would do this as long as it didn’t lead to pyramids and such in her future. He looked at her and said, Ok, we can do the lift again – as long as you promise me you won’t be a cheerleader! I looked at him and stage whispered across – her mother (who was sitting next to him) was a cheerleader. He turned red, but the Mom took it all in stride and said – ah, I know you go home and say, Give me a T, give me an E, etc.
I know that many people who read this may have been cheerleaders. Your daughters may be cheerleaders. Please don’t shoot the messenger here! The truth is I cheered too.
Well, sort of. Truthfully… I wasn’t much of an athlete.
I took gymnastics for years (from about 5 to 13 or 14) and I played some different sport most years in grade school. The thing was – it was essentially a different sport every year. I’d do it one year, discover my lack of talent, move on to the next sport. (Realistically, looking back, I was probably just starting to get a little better at some by the end of season, but whatever.)
Second grade was soccer – the only girl on an all boys team. Pass! I finished out the season (because we don’t quit!), but that was it for me. Third grade was cheerleading (see!). I was a “mascot” – you had to be in 5th grade to be a real member of the team. 4th grade I think was track (a teammate's jog was my sprint – ugh). 5th grade basketball (have I mentioned before I was littlest angel in our school play because I was, well, littlest? Prolly not my sport...). 6th grade cheerleading again – this time as a “full” member. 7th grade softball – and by then I’d exhausted all the sport options and stopped. High school offered new sport options, but… oh school was far away and practice ran so late I’d miss my carpool and when would I do homework and… You get the picture. I believe my next athletic attempt came with adult kickball!
Fast forward to yesterday. My Mom was coming to visit and in the process of cleaning out the basement had found all the old trophies and decided that while they should probably go in the trash, it was up to me to throw them out. (Such parental pride! OK, so maybe that Halloween parade participant trophy isn’t really a necessary part of life…) My husband starts looking through them. There were trophies (well, participant trophies anyway) for each of the sports I’d played. There were academic trophies (geek!). There were probably half a dozen gymnastics trophies. There were Halloween trophies – God knows what else! But what does he focus on? Cheerleading! He jumps on the cheerleading trophies with "I can’t believe you cheered!" (By the way, we've had this discussion before. He knows I cheered. He knew it before we were married. We have not found grounds for anullment here.) Guess we know which ones will hit the trash first if he has a say. (Note – he doesn’t.)
Oh, I never knew it would be so hard to be a trophy wife.