A win does not always involve a jacket or trophy. A win does not mean you are the best. A win without heart and humility is not really a win. A win where others get hurt is actually a loss in disguise. A win you think you carried for the team makes you selfish. A win can simply be doing better than you did last tine.

We push our kids to win. Do we push them to win well?

One of my daughters took home a jacket and a medal this weekend after coming back to right a second place finish last year. The other fought a battle to take 10th after a joyfully delivered routine hit zero on the mat.

They are both winners.

The Cheer Hair Rap

A little rap (radio edit version) I wrote for my daughter as she got competition ready:

Who’s that babe with the jacked up hair?

She’s a cheerleader.

It took a can of hairspray to get it there.

She’s a cheerleader.

She walks by the judges and they say ‘sup?

She’s a cheerleader.

Even a hurricane couldn’t mess it up.

She’s a cheerleader .

‘Twas the Night Before Super Nationals

It ’twas the night before Super Nationals when all through the house,

The uniforms were getting packed for a chance to compete before Mickey Mouse.

The cheer shoes were now sneaker balled with care, in hopes that the car wouldn’t stink before we arrived there.

The cheerleaders were flipping around on their beds, while visions of hit zeros danced in their heads.

And Cheer Mama in her sparkles, and I in my gym branded cap, gave up long ago our hopes for a nap.

Because cheerleaders by nature are always making a clatter, so telling them to be quiet really does not matter.

Away to the car I flew like a flash, tore open the door, and tried to pack up the cheer stash.

The moon shone brightly on our bazillion cheer sparkles below, making my eyes start to tear, so blinding I thought our dog was a bear.

Then my athletes yelled out the door, so lively and quick, “Dad, don’t forget our spirit stick!”

More rapid than eagles, the cheer luggage came, I whistled and shouted and called off the items by name: “Now uniforms! Now cheer shoes! Now, bows and eyeliner! Come on, lipstick! And medical tape! And, backpacks and lucky stuffed items! To the back and the sides and the front of the car! To the top now in a roof rack! To the top of my lap! Now pack it up! Pack it in! Let’s prepare to dash away all!”

Like the bases before the wild flyer must fly, so they don’t get a deduction, I lifted the glitter and gear and it flew, like a sleigh full of toys from St. Nicholas if he was on my packing crew.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard the prancing and chattering of my wife.

As I took a deep breath and was turning around, she came at me with a bound.

She was dressed all in cheer mom gear, from head to foot, and her clothes were all glue gunned with sparkles black like soot. A bundle of healthy snacks she had flung on her back, and she looked like a peddler just opening her cheer survival pack.

Her eyes–how they twinkled! Her dimples, how merry! Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry! I realized then that I was married to a cheer fairy.

She then started to frown, like a right angry elf, for I had forgotten those darn snacks, in spite of myself.

A wink of her eye and a twist of her head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. She spoke not a word, but went straight to work, and filled the car with those snacks, then turned with a jerk.

With a proud sniffle from her nose, she gave a nod, and into the house and up the stairs she rose.

She shouted out a loud “Hey”, and to our cheerleaders gave a whistle, and away they all flew into bed like the down of a thistle.

But I heard her exclaim, after she stomped out of sight, “Let’s win a paid bid in Indy, and to all a good night!”


The Case of the Faint Mustache

Today is a big day for two reasons:

  1. I started my parenting blog adventure.
  2. My son started down the path to becoming a man.

Let’s start with my son. I woke him up as promised to go to our favorite diner for breakfast. I owed him a meal at Good Truckin since October, a belated present for his 13th birthday. Yes, I know it is January of his next birthday year. He understands that the schedule for a family of five does not compromise. He let the excitement build for three months and even took a shower last night in anticipation. He will heal from this.

I was not prepared for his morning greeting though.

I clapped my hands outside his door, turned on his lights, and yelled his name. He sat up 10 minutes later.

“Mom, I have a mustache,” he said as he walked over to me.

I looked closely. I looked more closely. I was in his damn face after a third move closer. Indeed, there was a lightly colored caterpillar on his lip. It wasn’t a young, super fuzzy caterpillar. It was more like an aging, balding caterpillar, but it was there.

“Yes, it looks like you do. Where’s your dad?”

If my boy was looking for some grand wisdom from me about young male facial hair, he would be sorely disappointed. I came from a family of three girls. He was my first and only son. I couldn’t keep my own body hair situated, and I only promised him breakfast today. We left for the diner.

Hanging out with a thirteen-year-old boy is much like parallel play with toddlers. You occupy the same space, glance at each other occasionally, and grunt basic words, which if you are patient enough, communicate ideas. It was the best time I had in months. Even when my kid spilled his water all over his food, himself, and the people next to him because of his misplaced, drunk squirrel boy movements, we had fun. He let me take a picture of him basking in the glory of impending manhood. We drank coffee, black in mourning of boyhood’s exit. We returned home and parted ways.

I did pick up a little nugget of wisdom from my son about the difference between boys and girls on the way home. He cleared his cracking voice and let me know boys proudly fart. Girls hide them. I don’t know how I lived this long without such a clear explanation.

Going back to 1) above, I am looking forward to sharing the ups and downs of parenting and family life on this blog, using a healthy dose of humor. I may share some parenting tips and things we like to watch, eat, use etc. in the Rogers 5 household. As you can see, I use the tagline of “Live. Love. Laugh.” Yes, we have one or two of those signs in our house like everyone in the suburbs raising families. You can’t leave Target without one. I’d like to think we do this trifecta a little differently though, and I’d like to share our funny chaos with you. But for now, I must go research safety shavers and little man face cream for my boy.