My Little Cheerleader & The Lessons I Learned As A Cheer Mom

It is hard to believe Abby’s first season of cheerleading is over! For starters, don’t you just die from the cuteness overload when seeing this sweet face in uniform?

My Little Cheerleader

 

I just can’t. Swoon.

Like I said before, the season is finally over. John and I wanted to throw a party Saturday when the season was officially over (I am sure the coaches did too) because it meant that we now have our Tuesday and Thursdays nights plus Saturday mornings back! Hallelujah!

The basketball season went well. Our age group for basketball and cheerleading was K-2. The skill of the basketball teams grew by leaps and bounds from the start of the season to the finish. The number of cheers and routines our girls had built up in their repertoire was impressive. Abby is not the most coordinated child on earth but her growth from start to finish was amazing. Major kudos to all the coaches.

The season wrapped up with the area cheerleading competition, which was held this past Saturday, and our girls worked their tails off. The coaches put together a great routine and the girls performed it beautifully. I mean this was a 3 minute routine and these 5-7 year olds rocked it. I was honestly blown away with their stage presence. Their focus was completely on the judges. They smiled big, had high energy, and shook their booties (age appropriately of course).

Side note – I wonder how many cheer squads had some part of Shake It Off in their routines this season.

I have always scoffed at those parents who got upset by a bad call by a ref or judge (I mean come on, be a role model to your child please!) but I had to point the finger at myself on Saturday and give myself a time out.

As hard as our girls had worked, we were taken aback when the results were announced. There was only one other squad in her age group and they did well. They performed as I would have expected a group of 5-7 year olds to perform (random waves to family throughout the routine, blanking out, that kind of thing). We knew our girls were on pointe that day so we really thought we would take home the win but the judges didn’t see it that way and gave the win to the other team.

My first reaction was to go all mama bear, yell at the judges and ask them if they were blind. I know I am biased being a parent but the general consensus of the crowd was the same and thought our girls should have won. I was a little upset. Some were more vocal than others. I was more vocal than I should have been. I didn’t storm the table or anything but I did some trash talking amongst other parents and coaches. The worst part was that I did this trash talking in front of my child.

When we got home after the competition and I started packing up Abby’s cheerleading gear, I was still frustrated by the results but I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Instead of having a huge smile and just bubbling over with pride about how hard Abby and her team had worked, how she had gotten up in front of all those people without fear, and how she had gave it everything she had, I had a scowl and was muttering to myself about what kind of point system they must have used.

Some of the reasons we signed Abby up for cheerleading was so she could learn dedication, how to be part of a team, and – you guessed it – good sportsmanship.

I needed a hefty dose of that myself.

I had been a terrible role model for my daughter that morning and I needed to apologize.

And I did.

I sat Abby down and I explained that I did not have the attitude that Christ wants us to model. I should have modeled good sportsmanship and having a Christ-like attitude and I was sorry that I did not do so. The important thing was that they worked hard as a team, they had fun, and they totally rocked it. Everything else was irrelevant. I told her that she reminded me of what was really important and I thanked her for that and asked her to forgive me. She said she did and gave me a kiss and a hug around the neck before running off to play.

The next night, they had the end of season banquet. Abby came home with her trophy and all was right in the world. The results of the competition the previous day were all but forgotten.

She looks at her trophy and remembers the excitement of being chosen to call the cheer during the halftime routine and giggling with teammates about that part in the cheer where you have to shake your butt.

I look at her trophy and remember the lessons I learned as a cheer mom and how God used these little girls to teach me a lesson on attitude and what is really important about being a team.

Lessons-Learned-As-A-Cheer-Mom

 

P.S. Took an intermission from Blogging For Endometriosis Awareness this week but things will kick back up next week and not only are the next two weeks’ topics hardcore, there will be giveaways each week by our amazing campaign sponsors FJJ Creations and Seaview Jewellery! You will not want to miss it!

In The Blink Of An Eye

Today I experienced every parents worst nightmare. Abby got lost at the store.

We were on the same aisle checking out Disney Princesses in the toy section no more than six feet apart. As we were talking, I looked down and she rounded the corner and something caught her eye and she went to look at it. In that split second, my heart jumped up into my throat. She also noticed that she didn’t have a visual on me and panicked and began to run. Each aisle that I looked down, she was one ahead of me. The more I called her name, the more terror that built up inside me. I think every child abduction episode of Criminal Minds flashed through my head.

Thankfully, Abby knew to find an adult and the store manager happen to be nearby. The almost hysterical 4 year old running at him probably caught his attention too. When he went to help her, she told him what her name was, what my name was, and that she was lost. We were only two aisles apart.

The whole ordeal lasted maybe two minutes tops but it was honestly the scariest two minutes of my life. In a blink of an eye, things went from a fun girls’ day out to a terrifying experience.

When we were at the beach this summer, I made a very big point to show Abby who the lifeguards were and where to go if she couldn’t find me. Obviously she was never in the water alone but in case of a wave knocked her down or she just got disoriented as it is easy to do, I wanted her to know exactly where to go. Unfortunately, I don’t think we always make the same parenting precautions in our “home” territory.

As scared and terrified as I was in that moment, I was also very proud of Abby. She is a smart little girl. I don’t think she could have reacted any better to the situation. I am also extremely thankful to the store manager who was so kind and gentle with her and reacted so quickly.

Our story had a happy (and quick) ending but I am aware things could have turned out differently and thank God that I will be able put my little girl to bed tonight. I hope our experience can serve as a reminder how quickly something can happen and the importance of educating our children how to respond to potential situations.