As I get ready to travel with my daughters to a national cheer competition this weekend, having binged Cheer on Netflix this past weekend while packing the glitter cannon, the reality of who I have become is clear. I can say loud, and a little [a lot] bit proud: I AM A CHEER MOM.
Don’t mix me up with a dance mom, a soccer mom, or a gymnastics mom. Those moms have their own club to which I do not have access. We cheer moms have unique characteristics that make us easily identifiable in a lineup…I meant crowd.
So how do you know a cheer mom? Let me give the basic call signs of our Sparkle Tribe:
- We talk about cheer even to people who simply don’t give a poop. I hope this has changed now because you all are going nuts over Cheer on Netflix. Listen to us. This shite is glittery gold. There are athletes like Jerry and Gabi and Lexi and Morgan galore in this sport.
- We do everything like it is timed to an 8-count track. Washing a dish? 8-counts. Putting a child to bed? Five 8-counts. Running a meeting at work? Endless 8-counts. You talking to us? Better make it cheer good if you want a decent number of 8-counts assigned to the conversation.
- We live in our car. To make it to all practices, open gyms, tumbling clinics, team bonding sessions, camps, and competitions, we are in our cars endlessly. In fact, we sold our houses and live in our cars to pay for cheer. Just kidding on the selling of houses…
- We have glitter everywhere. There is glitter in our homes, our cars, our hair, our nose, and probably in our bits. It comes from uniforms, bows, cheer bags, bottles of glitter we glue gun to stuff, and from the blood and sweat of our athletes.
- We belong, willing or not, to a cheer family. It is loud. It is crazy. It is a loud and crazy dysfunctional family that can simultaneously make you feel extreme love and irritation. We talk about each other. We hug it out. We get mad at each other. We hug it out. We win. We hug it out. We lose. We hug it out. WE STICK TOGETHER.
- We use semi-trucks to take our Glitter & Gear (G&G) between competitions and practices (in our dreams at least). We then carry the G&G around massive competition facilities, to and from hotels, and to and from modes of transportations like we are Beyonce’s entourage. Even when our athletes go all diva on us, we still carry their G&G because they are nervous, sore, and tired. Also, we spent a million dollars on that G&G. No G&G gets left behind.
- We are as fierce as our athletes. You don’t mess with either. Don’t let the sparkle and bows fool you.
- We are participating in a sport. Our sons and daughters are athletes. We are their support system. We will clarify this a bazillion times until you repeat the same. And we study the stats and other teams like there are Las Vegas odds on this.
So, do you get it? Nope, neither do I some days. My girls chose this life for me and our family. Even their reluctant teenage brother will schlep their stuff and put on Wildcats gear. He will stand by the stage and scream for his sisters and their teams, having seen this season’s competition routines one thousand times, yet he still pretends it is all new and amazing.
This makes us all sound crazy, especially me as the mom who lets this be a reality for her family. Again, my girls chose this. I then chose to support them financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I also support their team and the gym as needed. As a result, I grew my world and my family. I get to watch my daughters and their teammates perform amazing physical feats on the mat while they grow as leaders and people. I get to watch them win and lose with grace because that’s the golden rule of cheerleading.
While Cheer on Netflix correctly pointed out there is no career waiting once these athletes max out on age, there is something even better. There is a life waiting for them for which they have all the ingredients and attributes for success.
You may be wondering where our cheer dad (The Dave) is in this. He gets to make his own post at The Rogers 5 in the future on this topic because his role is just as important as mine.