Friday, November 20, 2009

Life lessons learned on the cheer mats

The competition season has begun.

The Roo-girl and her compatriots are headed for their first comp on Sunday.

I'll be there, of course -- with my camera and my official team-mom t-shirt and my enthusiasm -- to watch the girls tumble, dance, cheer and GO for it.

The walkup to the start of the season has been an up-and-down affair. Girls who have quit. Girls who have been replaced for health reasons. Girls with skills. Girls without skills. There's no junior varsity team. There IS a junior varsity. They suck. They have amazing raw talent.

Eh. Whatever. I always want the same thing for my girl: a successful experience with something that makes her very happy.

But the drama of the summer and the fall has brought us to an interesting place.

As a little background, let me explain the facts of last year's team. Roo was one of three freshmen invited to compete. There was one junior ... and eight seniors.

Now, you and I can both do the math. When June rolled around, two-thirds of the team ... graduated and was gone.

So this year's team is mostly new. Fresh. Untested.

And very, very green.

Last year, Roo was the green one in a world of varsity advanced. The seniors NEEDED her to step it up -- and they let her know it in no uncertain terms. She had been the best one on her all-star team, and now then she was the worst.

So she learned. She learned new skills and matched the senior flyer step for step, twist for twist.

But at a cost, as she endured a barrage of criticism and torment from her teammates.

This year, she is the experienced one, with a green freshman flyer by her side.

But with a difference.


Tuesday night, the parents of this year's team were invited to watch the girls run through their routine before they take it into competition.

It was the first time they had done it in public, in front of people.

It was a little ragged, but they were pleased with themselves.

Roo groused a little on the way home that she can't do her best skills in the routine because the freshman flyer isn't there ... yet.

"It IS frustrating," she told me. "But I'm being really supportive. I don't want her to feel like I did last year."

I smiled.

Because there's more to cheer than how high you can fly.


Jenni said...

Good for her! I would be more proud of that than any of those fancy cheerleading skills.

Marylin said...

Well done Roo, I bet you're proud of her for that! :)

Melissa said...

Good job Roo-girl. And on the cheer, too. :)

nikki said...

A little bit of maturity goes a long way. Good for Roo.

songbird's crazy world said...

Bravo, Roo, she gets it.

Kaytabug said...

AWWWWWWW!!!!! What Jenni said!!
Way to go Roo!!!
I teared up that was so thoughtful and caring!!

Jaina said...

Roo is such an amazing young woman. I can't imagine how proud you are of her. Good luck this weekend Roo!!! said...

Sounds to me like Roo is getting so much more from cheer than just the physical and it makes me proud. I know it does you. ;-)
Team sports are great!

Roger said...

Good for Roo! And here you thought was just learning about cheering. :) You have every reason to be very proud of your baby. :)

Lynette said...

Awww....looks like she's learning more than just backflips & junk in cheer too. :)

Indigo said...

Sounds like she took her lumps and came out with compassion. It's a beautiful trait. (Hugs)Indigo

Karen said...

You've got a girl to be proud of there. But I guess you knew that.

Burgh Baby said...

You've done good with that one. Real good.

Rachael said...

You should be proud not only of Roo, but of yourself. Your kids are pretty awesome.

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