Monday, February 16, 2009


You may remember my angst and agita when my girls got sucked into the hellish vortex of cheerleading a few weeks ago. Cliques and cattiness and unhealthy competition. Anxious faces. Mean girls. Elaborate hairstyles my oldest began to imitate almost at the very moment she encountered them.

Well. Oldest started gymnastics last week. I was a little worried it would be a continuation of what they went through during the cheerleading thing. And what did we find? Girls helping each other with backflips and jumps. Girls cheering when others did something well. Girls offering a hand up when others failed. Girls (and more importantly, role models) learning and teaching each other. Oldest had a beaming smile on her face virtually the entire time, a smile so bright I get a lump in my throat describing it even now. When she fell, she smiled. When she succeeded, she smiled. And, success or failure, there was always a girl there to cheer her on and teach her how to do more, go further.

My faith in sisterhood is restored.

I'll let Annie and Aretha tell it.


Daisy said...

Sisters are doing it for each other! Not just themselves!

(Of course, your last post started me off on a draft post about how it's actually pretty tough raising boys too -- it's not autopilot when it seems "boy" is so often defined by sports and penis-dueling. WHen you have the non-sporty boys (or maybe I mean marginally sporty in a school defined by jocks) the mother keeps her eyes peeled and the single mother, especially, ponders how and where to steer them toward positive male adulthood. (Esp since she does not trust the father to do so, since he has blatantly demonstrated his own shortcomings).

Charming to read about the lump in your throat. My mother got that when she would come to watch me in track meets. I suspect it is a twinge on that string that connects parent to child -- like when the kite catches a breeze and threatens to jerk away into the sky....

fotragmo said...

Well said Clowncar. You maqke want to be a father,(or a grandpa)

paula said...

This sounds great. I was waaay inot gymnastics- I was on a team at a YMCA- four days a week, and then "meets" on the weekends...Very good memories. I had good friends. The competition was good for me, although I was never a real "winner" of a gymnast. Then, when I was 1, I grew like four inches and my kneecaps ripped off. I was in phyiscal therapy.

That was just way more info than necessary! But I love gymnastics. So good for your girls. Now, you just need to get them into tennis!

paula said...

Oops-when I was 12, not 1.

Hilary said...

The lump in your throat caught me. :) So nice to know that your faith is restored. But they're still gonna start dating one day... ;)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That's wonderful!

Keep them out of cheerleading. No good can come of it.

The gymnastics thing will keep them fit on the inside and the outside.

Missed it around here!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Irrelephant said...

Well played, old thing! Weerelephant spent 12 years in dance class--I never regretted a day of it. Teamwork, exercise, and fun, plus she got to bring home a trophy every year which got progressively taller. Number 12 is taller than her by a head.

Clowncar said...

Hey, Daze, I don't mean to say that it's easier raising boys. Parenthood is hard, regardless of gender. I'm saying it's easier being a boy. I did some sports, but mostly I did debate, theater, lit mag. And I might have gotten a little grief from jock types, but not overly so. I guess my point is this: I think boys are given more options to pursue their true interests than girls.

Thanks, old man. You, of course, made me want to be a father.

Kneecaps ripped off? Yikes, Paula. You make me want to pull them out of the gym and lock them in the house. Actually, tennis is calling them - there is a court down the street, and the almighty Wii is giving them a grasp of the game. I suspect it's in their future.

Hil, why you gotta mention dating and rain on my parade? I was in such a fine mood too....

Scarlett, good to see you back. Seen Lulin yet? Right next to Spica now, and near Saturn on the 24th.

12 trophies, 12 years. I bet looking at those is like going back in time, eh, Irr? The oddest things turn into time machines.... Dolls, refrigerator art, discarded toys.