I’m generally not receptive to anything that forces people to go through the motions for no apparent reason. Like graduation ceremonies from 5th grade? Was it really an optional achievement? I guess that’s why I’m always looking deeper into life and asking questions with no definitive answers. The answers to questions that nobody can explain. The explanations that boil down to, “Just because. That’s why.” Maybe I need to lighten up and stop asking questions. To just live free and stop finding fault with the status quo. I just don’t know how to be that way.
Homecoming celebrations in middle school are the type of formality that provokes those questions. It’s nothing more than a chance for the cheerleaders to dote on the football players by decorating their mailboxes with candy and posters. On game day the cheerleaders are paired up with the players and walk across the field as their names are announced on the loud speaker. Here's my son on the right.
I must admit that I hold some lingering prejudices against cheerleaders. I was never one and never had the desire to be one either. Instead, I played basketball until my headstrong attitude clashed with the parental politics of the game. Instead of adopting the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy, I quit playing my freshman year. My view towards cheerleaders has changed somewhat over the years because the “sport” seems to have incorporated more gymnastic ability. I respect the athleticism required to do the flips, pyramids, and aerial stunts. However, I never want my daughters to join the squad. Gymnastics is fine. Cheering on the boys is a step back in time.
I hope I don’t impede my daughters’ aspirations who only show a slight interest in cheering for now. They're ages 9 and 11. I have a feeling that I might reach that impasse where my daughters' question my own beliefs. Here’s what I’d like to tell them.
Follow your dreams. Not from the sidelines as a supporting player or as eye candy for boys that don’t make or break your self-worth. Boys that don’t need to be built up because
most of them only want what you can do for them. Don't play the part that you're too young to
understand. Test your physical limits beyond synchronized claps and dance moves that
simulate sex more than rhythm. Radiate from the inside and not because your hair bow is
picking up signals for outer space. Cast yourself as the lead in your life. You deserve the