Our local high school (the one where Joel teaches) has a cheerleading clinic every fall during the second week of school. Which is this week. Bria has always wanted to go, and I have never let her do it. Money issues, blah blah blah. Really, though, the biggest issue with me is that while I don't have anything against cheerleading in and of itself, I do have a problem with all that comes with it.
Anyway, this year I let her do it. I figure it's only for a week, she'll have fun and that will be that. And so far, that's been true. Yesterday I just left her to do her thing since she is so sensitive about being watched and complimented. I hung out with Joel in his office and only snuck to the cheer clinic a couple times to spy on her. She was having fun, and that's what mattered.
Today, I was supposed to be in the auditorium with the drama teacher to help her with auditions, but those ended early and I decided to take Chloe and Sophia to go sit and watch the little cheerleaders with the other parents. Bria didn't really notice me, so it was all fine. And she was still having fun, and that's what matters.
The two moms I happened to be sitting by were obviously former cheerleaders themselves (I know this from their conversation). And just sitting near them made me start feeling all self conscious and high schoolish again. Not because they were cheerleaders, but because they were snots. I promise I'm not making a rash judgment, either. I could hear their conversation. I could hear the backbiting and shallowness that was going on. And these are grown women! It kind of shocked me.
Anyway, that is what I don't want my daughters to turn into. I want them to be down-to-earth, kind, accepting individuals. I don't want them to be so caught up in what they look like, that nothing else matters. I don't want them to feel like they have to be popular (whatever that means) to be a good person. I want them to be themselves and be confident in who they are. I want them to dress modestly and not feel they have to flaunt their bodies to be accepted or liked. I want them to be good and make good choices.
I'm not saying that cheerleaders can't be all of that. I'm sure many of them actually exist. It's just that a lot of the ones I've had experience with are just the opposite. (If you were a cheerleader, don't be offended. You were probably one of the nice ones.)
So, we'll continue this little clinic. And it will be fun. And I will be grateful that Bria will probably be too tall and uncoordinated (like me) to make a cheer squad anyway.