It’s game day!! First Varsity football game of the season. My daughter and her besties first varsity game ever. It seems like we’ve been waiting for this forever. No more 4pm Thursday JV games in the heat and sun. We’ve made it to Friday night lights, a tradition in most high schools, definitely in ours.
If you are just tuning in (maybe you saw in my ad in the football program), well then you know that I am a cheer mom. And like most of us, we take pride in our girls and boys. We work hard to make sure we do our part and pay our dues (literally) so that our children can fulfill their dreams.
Being a cheer parent is challenging in so many ways. The behind the scenes work is extensive and never-ending. This is my first year all in. My daughters first two years on the squad was supported by my mom. She was the cheer grandma, never missed a game or competition. She always picked up the kids from practice and gave rides to those who had working moms like me. She was the first to volunteer and was always available to help out and run errands. She and my daughter would countdown how long until her junior year and we’d be able to watch her cheer on her personally painted box under those football lights.
Unexpectedly, my mom passed away in March. So now it’s just me and the greatest group of cheer moms a rookie could ask for. I still can’t do all the things that my mom did, but I do my best and I will be at every game and competition smiling and crying all at the same time.
Today I missed the opening season rally. I miss it every year. Next year I won’t. Next year I will take the day off work to be there for my girl. It’s hard being everyone. Mom, Dad, Gram…. But I can do. I will do it, I have to. For her and for me.
Currently, I am watching Thirteen reasons why season 3. It is a show on Netflix that I recommend to all parents, especially those with high school-aged kids. It digs deep into the many uncomfortable situations our kid’s face, and what happens after the dust has settled. Abuse, rape, bullying. Mental and physical violence. These kids stories don’t end once they are hurt. Their lives before the trama no longer exist, it changes who they are and what their lives may end up being. In a flash, a person can be completely derailed from their life and have no idea how to process that. Many times the parents are oblivious, teenagers are good at hiding secrets. Ask questions, they hate it but sometimes you will gain insight into what is really going on in your child’s life.
But back to football, tonight is the night. I can hardly wait to see my daughters’ beautiful smile and the sheer joy on her face as she cheers her heart out. Her father and I will be cheering her on in the stands, and my mother will be probably standing next to her cheering as well (thank goodness most of us can’t see ghosts).
To all the spiritleaders and their spiritparents: LET’s GO BIG BLUE!!!!