Best Self

We have a cheerleader.  It is something that Emily has wanted to do since she knew there was such a thing.  In fact shortly after we moved here she got wind that there was a cheerleading squad and started begging to be on it.  I really didn't think there was one here in our little town but I was wrong.  Emily got the name and phone number of the coach and brought it home so I had no more excuses.
Cheerleading is expensive and time consuming.  It is also something that Bret and I had not interest in WHAT SO EVER.  The cheerleading coach is a very nice lady that has the complete and totally opposite personality than I do.  It drives me crazy.  I am very type A..I like planning and organization.  I like calendars and schedules.  The cheer coach is much more easy going and impulsive.  Sometimes we get calls about cheering during the high school basketball game the same day or if we are lucky the day before.  Costs are handed out as they come in.  Needless to say it has been a really growth experience for me in the patience department with this whole process.
What we were quick to realize though is that Emily is built for cheerleading.  She is the team's flyer.  This is my girl in the top center.  It is her favorite thing, cheerleading.

As a mom what I have come to realize is that Emily is not me.  She is not really Bret either.  She is this crazy combination of some of me, some of Bret, and some of just Emily.  That is a hard thing to realize because what you want her to love (reading, other sports, etc) may not be her thing...in fact she may not enjoy it at all (reading!!) :(.

As her parents we want her to be her best self not the person we think she should be.  This is true even if it means that her passions and loves are completely off of our chart of things that we even like (aka cheerleading).

Emily has worked very hard to be the best cheerleader she can be.  She has kept her grades high and has had an impressive attitude at home even because she knows that if these things slip activities would start to go.

A few weeks ago our family traveled to Denver, CO with her cheerleading squad for their first competition.  There were a lot of teams there and the competition was intense.  Our girls are not as strong in their tumbling as other teams and are classified as a Rec group.
The competition was held at the coliseum and there were tons of people there.  When your team performed you got to go down to some chairs in front of the mats to watch.  When we went down to watch her perform I was teary eyed and super nervous.  I went back and forth between wanting to cry I was so proud and wanting to vomit I was so nervous.  Our girls did awesome.  I yelled and cheered and clapped like the crazy cheer mom that I am.  Bret and I wore our team shirts and buttons with Emily's picture on them.  I was cheering so loud and clapping and nervous that I didn't even snap one picture of it.  Bret recorded it on his phone so I will have to try and post it sometime so you can see it.  They nailed it!!
In fact their team took first in their division.  We were so proud!!  The look on her face was one of pure concentration and she nailed her jumps/cart wheels/and even her stunts and even remember to smile.
The makeup, hair, uniforms, hair bows, poms, etc., etc. are still sometimes a lot for me to handle but I know how much it means to Emily so dang it we are working on it.  We love her so much and want her to be the best her she can be even if that means being a cheerleader :)

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