To Cheer or Not To Cheer

I was a cheerleader for six years in jr high and high school . . . it seems like a life time ago. Frankly, I can't believe I was a cheerleader. But, I clearly remember how I felt about cheerleading . . . it was my life during that time period. I actually cried when I didn't make captain as a junior. (And I mean sobbed my heart out) I did make captain my senior year  . . . and then amazingly enough, I quit after football season was over. Just up and quit . . . I think I shocked everyone, but I was just so over, well, being a cheerleader.

My daughter . . . my six year old daughter decided that she wanted to be a cheerleader this season . . . but she didn't have to go through the grueling try-outs. The association just takes everyone who pays the {ridiculously high} fees. I was not sure about her cheering at such a young age, but she was insistent this is an activity she wanted to participate in.

From the beginning I have struggled with the attitude of the jr coaches (basically freshman girls who used to cheer in the association) . . . these girls are rude, have little patience and are not the least bit enthusiastic to be at practice. My daughter has been forced to run numerous laps for other squad members giggling . . . she has been forced to do push ups for other squad members non-participation. I drew the line at duck walks . . . I tolerated it once . .  I was appalled, but let it slide. The next time I walked to my daughter and pulled her from the 'duck walk' line and simply said, "I do not agree with this punishment for my 6 year old daughter". I pretty much dared the jr coach to say one word to me with my stern stare. (she did not and I calmed down)

At the game last week, my daughter attempted to come to me and get a drink of water . . . the asst coach (a volunteer mom who also has a child on the squad) grabbed my daughter's arm and attempted to 'push' her back in line. I told her she was thirsty and she told me that it was not time for a water break. I then replied that she was my daughter and I would decide if she could have a drink of water or not. (a side note here to show I'm not a raving bitch: my daughter had been practicing for the previous hour before the game even started, the girls had just lined up to cheer and I was at the port-a-potty with my other children, thus my daughter never had the opportunity to get a drink of water because I had her water bottle in my bag).

Ack! I was livid! I was frustrated! That exchange is something I never wanted my daughter to witness. I don't even grab my daughter's arm in that manner and another mom did! I was appalled!

I want my daughter to have fun cheering! I want my daughter to be in a positive environment! I want my daughter to learn to participate on a team. I have such fond memories of being a cheerleader . . .  I remember the bond that I shared with my fellow cheerleaders.

I think perhaps six years old is just simply to young for these expectations.

But, oh, she is so adorable in her uniform!

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