Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The End of an Era. . . .

My daughter Jade is a Senior in High school. For the past 4 years she has been a cheerleader. Now, before you roll your eyes and click onto something more interesting- like the Utah County Jail website, hear me out.

I consider myself very lucky that she has had the opportunity to associate with such quality young women. You see, they have all been together since 9th grade - cheering. This has allowed me to make some great friends with the other "Cheer Moms" as we sat in the stands each game to watch our daughters cheer on their team, coordinate rides to all those practices, make fun plans for picking them up from cheer camp and then discuss who was doing what after the game so that none of them could get away with anything!!

There as been a fair share of DRAMA to be sure, but it was nothing that they couldn't get over and be able to move on. For the most part all of the girls that are Seniors are really good girls - no partying, nice to others, respectful, good students, etc. This has made me want to encourage Jade to keep trying out each year, even though the cost is CRAZY expensive!

Last week we went to the final End of Year Parents Banquet for all the cheerleaders. It was a bittersweet occasion for me. You see, this past football season my Friday nights consisted of finding a babysitter for the two little ones (have you ever tried to keep a 3 year old and 1 year old contained while on bleachers?!). Then I would go to Jade's game and Mark would go to Matt's game. Matt goes to a different school and played football for their team. It was definitely a "divide and conquer" effort on our part.

As we were sitting at the banquet, I thought about how this was the last time I would be here and started thinking back to some of the highs and lows of the past four years. There have definitely been more highs than lows.

Humor me.

There was the time that Jade was playing around before a game and did a standing back tuck on the field and landed on her head! For the ENTIRE game she kept asking me "What happened?" I would tell her and then five minutes later she would ask "Why am I not cheering out there? What happened?" It drove me crazy!! It was like watching the game with Dori from Finding Nemo.

Before each home game, the Cheer Moms each took turns hosting a dinner before the game for all the girls. Man, can those girls eat!!

During football season the girls all had a box to stand on so that they were more visible to the crowd and could see over the football players on the sideline and tell what was going on. For the first few games Jade didn't know the parameters of her box and so we would make bets as to how long it would take before she fell off her box!!

During the last basketball game of this year they had a Senior Recognition Night for all the cheerleaders. They were supposed to be escorted out onto the court with their parents to receive a small gift and be recognized.

There was a terrible snow storm that night and it took Mark 4 hours to get home from downtown SLC! So, instead of having me (and Jack and Madeline) escort her, Jade asked Jack to be her escort. He was only too happy to do it. The funny part about this is that he was dressed in a "Black Spiderman" costume with the full muscle look! I am sorry to say that I don't have a picture of this, but just know that Jack is "Spiderman" more than he is Jack some weeks!

I won't bore you with more stories, however I believe that if you have the opportunity for your children to be involved in extra curricular activities, it can be the best thing in the world for them and you - regardless of the cost!