Monday, November 16, 2009


I am a huge klutz and have NO athletic ability at all! As a matter of fact, Logan and his gross motor issues fit in fine here, since he appears to take after me. No, I don't fall all the time or walk into walls like he does, but still.... I'm such a klutz that for years Jim called me 'Grace' in reference to my less-than-graceful attempts. It took me a long time to come to terms with this--and I've finally made peace with the fact that while I'm not athletic, I DO have other talents and strengths.

Fortunately, my children have (so far) inherited their father's athletic ability. Herein lies the problem. What exactly will I do with myself this winter? For the first time since 1996, we do NOT have a basketball player in the house. Victoria has opted to quit playing basketball. I am sad, but it's HER sport and HER decision. She does not have to play to make us happy. She played last year and knows what high school ball is all about; she's making an informed decision. That works for me. But I LOVE high school basketball! I love spending time at the gym, watching the kids play, cheering for my own child and their friends. It's the highlight of my year, and my favorite social outlet! :) This year? Well, it's going to be sad. I still know many of the players on both the boys and girls squads but it's just not the same. I'll still go watch, especially since Emily is the captain of the cheer squad. But that's not the same either, and previous experience has taught me that I am SO not a cheer parent!! Thinking about spending time in the gym focusing on the cheerleaders rather than the athletes makes my skin crawl. Even if one of them is my daughter! Ugh.

The cheer moms are such a fascinating group. For them and for the coach, everything is about how you look. How you perform. How perfectly together everything is. I don't mind some of that, but in today's society there's already enough emphasis on how young ladies look. We don't need to spend more time highlighting their outward appearance! Truly, this is where I have such trouble as a cheer mom. I want my girls to be neat and clean, to look pulled together and pretty. But I don't want it to be their sole focus. I want them to be beautiful on the inside. I want their character to shine! I want to see them beautiful because of who they are, not because of how they look. I want my girls to radiate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self control! Those are the things that make them beautiful. It's not about the right lip gloss or the right hairstyle or the perfect uniform. But that's where cheer seems to get hung up...

So if you head to the gym to watch basketball this year, I"ll be there. Sitting with the parents of the players, not the parents of the cheerleaders. As much as I love my girl, I won't be gushing every day about how cute she looks. Instead, we'll continue to focus on her inward beauty. The other cheer parents won't be happy that I won't 'come to their party.' But I want so much more for my daughter. Is that so wrong?


  1. Maybe you could watch Em and focus on the great athletic ability required to be a cheerleader. These days aren't cheerleaders are so much more than just pretty girls hopping around on the sidelines? Seems like they do a lot of difficult performances now, don't they? I would definitely be as put off as you are by the total focus on perfect hair or lip gloss, though...

  2. No jumping, tumbling, or stunting allowed for our cheerleaders (HUGE liability risk), so they're mostly just pretty girls hopping around on the sidelines. :\

  3. Oh... LOL! Well, then... I totally get it! :)