It's Day 25 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, started by Two Writing Teachers. I am writing around the theme topic of "What I Know For Sure." (See Day 1 for a full explanation.)
At the end of my 6th grade year, I decided I wanted to try out for cheerleading. I think this came as a surprise to many people. I was not exactly the cheerleader type. I hadn't taken any gymnastics or tumbling classes, I was awkward with poufy hair (see yesterday's post), and I had loved playing soccer and was involved in 4-H. I had lots of experience showing poultry at the fair, but not backflipping my way across a football field. Keep in mind cheerleading was nothing like it is today. Today's cheerleaders are quite the athletes and need advanced tumbling skills. I should've had more skills than a decent cartwheel and backbend, but still, I wouldn't have had a prayer today. I barely had a prayer then...
I'm sure my mom was skeptical. However, I didn't know it. She fully supported the decision I made and watched me practice out in the back yard. Not once did she counsel me otherwise or tell me I would never make it. I practiced my little heart out, and amazingly, I did make it. I spent 3 years as a cheerleader, and honestly, it was never a comfortable fit. I should have stayed with soccer and 4-H, but that's fodder for a different post. The point is, my mom showed me she believed in me, and I'm sure that gave me the confidence to show the judges I could do it. She had also shown me how to be a cheerleader my whole life.
I am so fortunate that my mom (and dad) made a seamless transition from parent role to friend when I became an adult. She is never critical and never offers advice (unless I want it). When I sometimes forget to share something like an award, or an article in the paper, or some other good news about my teaching or life, she gently scolds me with an "I want to know about these things so I can congratulate you!" When we recently decided to buy the condo I wrote about last weekend, some parents might have hesitated a little and wonder why we're taking on a project like that in our busy lives. But not Mom (or Dad). We got nothing but enthusiasm and encouragement. "You're doing the right thing!" she exclaimed.
I know I am blessed. I know I led a charmed childhood and now get to enjoy parents who are healthy, happy in their own lives, and are my biggest cheerleaders.
What I Know For Sure: A mother is the foundation for confidence and unconditional love. I was led by a mother who loves learning, reading, and making friends. She's loved my dad for 50 years and me for 48. She is energetic, kind, loyal, and fun. She leads a life of faith and joy, and she passed those on to me. If you are fortunate enough to have your mom as your biggest cheerleader, no matter how old you get, you are blessed beyond measure.