About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah!

Today my daughter had her orientation for high school. When I think of my own high school experience, I remember a lot of fun.  I think of slumber parties, cheerleading, first dates, basketball games, school plays, football games, good friends, and more laughter than tears.  Maybe I had it good--maybe I got lucky with the people I grew up with--but  I loved everything about my high school experience.

But today at the orientation, I was struck by the negative attitude of some of the parents around me.  While my daughter and I checked out the information booths for the various school clubs, another mom came up to me with a roll of her eyes.  "Cheerleaders and dance teams," she snorted, "not for my daughter." What?!  Why not?  If the girl wants to dance, let her dance!

Stereotypes and cliches prevail in our society; I know this so should not be surprised.  I have had people roll their eyes at me many times when I talk about the fun I had as a cheerleader in both high school and college. What did surprise me is that the parents who obviously did not enjoy their high school experience reverted back to their bitter, negative selves in front of their children who are about to embark on an adventure that is uniquely their own.

I am not a perfect parent by any means.  I don't have all the answers and make many mistakes.  But I hope that I do not allow my own insecurities to hold my children back in any way.  And that is what tonight seemed like to me:  a few insecure adolescents trapped inside adult bodies having flashbacks to their own youth trying to stop their own children from finding their own path.

I know there are bullies.  I know that girls can be vicious to one another.  I know that not everyone finds their niche.  That is life and is not limited to high school.  High school is merely the practice ground before life really gets messy.  Navigating social dynamics is simply part of the game. As parents, I believe there comes a time when we need to let them learn their own way of playing that game and trust that we have raised them to make good choices.

Yes, I encouraged my daughter to participate in school clubs. And, yes, I did so because I remember how much fun those activities were for me in high school.  So, yes, an argument could be made that I had my own bias.  That's true.

Be involved, I told her.  Have fun, I said. Try something new, I encouraged. How she chooses to participate is up to her.  If she would rather be in debate club rather than the pom squad, that is entirely her decision.  This is her adventure, not mine.  These are her glory days; I already had mine.

High school...a time for learning new subjects, dreaming big for the future, discovering first loves, experiencing first heart breaks, and feeling invincible.  They are at the age where all things are possible and every situation is do or die.  Excitement at what lies ahead is the only option.

As a former cheerleader, I am used to cheering from the sidelines and intend to cheer my daughter on no matter what path she chooses.  Sis Boom Bah, little girl of mine!  Reach for those stars!  And never let anyone stop you from dancing or cheering or whatever it is that makes you sincerely happy.

2 comments:

  1. Moxie Girl, I can tell you are one great Mom! Bravo for the inspiring words and reinforcement in a very cool mom kind of way. So what's that quote..."What you put into things is what you get out of them" I think it is, or something close to it.

    I moved around a lot during my high school years, but ended up with a boyfriend in every port so to speak, then finally for the ultimate Senior Prom treat, sacked the quarterback! Just kidding on that last one; he was a fullback. Did you ever go to a hs reunion? I went to my ten year and another former football player told me he was too shy to ever ask me out on a date, afraid I'd reject him. And near the end of the evening, he actually asked me out! I said "no." Sweet. Maybe I should also add that he was recently released from prison and was pretty drunk by the time he asked.

    You are so right that HS is a training ground, but there is that big leap after graduation. Being active and involved teaches invaluable social skills that last a lifetime, and the friendships made will make the future all the more rewarding. Keep it chipper, my friend. Your daughter should shine just as bright with some really great experiences in store for her in her future.

    –slt

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  2. Sacked the quarterback? Yes, as a matter of fact, I did sack the quarterback in high school. LOL. I was a cheerleader, he was the QB...it was all very cliche...and didn't last long. Left the QB for a punk and never regretted it!

    No, I have never gone back for a high school reunion, although I have many friends from high school that I am close to even now. It seems I am always traveling somewhere else when the reunions are scheduled. I actually love Facebook for reconnecting with my former pals.

    As always, thanks for the smiles, SLT. Be good to yourself.

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