Growing up, I didn't do many sports or athletic activities.
I took gymnastics for a couple of years.
And then, I was a figure skater from fourth grade until eighth grade when I decided I didn't want to do that anymore either. (My dad was so mad at me when I told him that...in his defense, I was taking private lessons and had "potential"...I guess I just lacked "drive.")
But, I never wanted to be a dancer.
I tried out for cheerleading once, in the fourth grade.
I didn't make the squad.
I didn't really care.
I was content to skate around a rink or hang out in my room, reading.
(I always wonder what life would have been like if I had a computer back then. Oh the possibilities!)
Fast forward to present day.
I'm a mom of two daughters.
Girls who love princesses and Barbie dolls and playing dress up and the color pink.
And I love all those things too, so you could say our house is one big pink ruffled party!
My husband is outnumbered and he knows it.
Emma, my youngest, has decided she wants to be a ballerina. And so, in two weeks she'll be starting dance lessons. Tap and ballet. Yesterday we went to the dance store for shoes. And tutus. I felt like a fish out of water. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. Thankfully, my sister was there to guide me around and my mom was her backup.
We bought ballet slippers that Emma might grow out of before the end of the dance year. And we bought tap shoes that came with a warning of "don't wear them on ceramic tile, hardwood floors or concrete....or bad things will happen." Then it was time for leotards and tutus.
Someone save me.
Around the same time that I was being suffocated by pink frilly tutus, Olivia was having a mini meltdown. She wanted shoes. And a leotard. And WHY WASN'T SHE TAKING DANCE?!? In my defense, Olivia has never expressed an interest in dancing. But yesterday as she watched her cousin and sister get new shoes and pink tutus, she suddenly felt left out.
A day earlier she had said to me "Mommy! You NEVER asked ME if I wanted to dance." Oh, the drama.
(A note about my Olivia - she tends to be shy and has been known to cry when she has to perform in front of crowds...so her sudden interest in dance and/or gymnastics was a bit shocking.)
I said "Olivia, what do you want to do?"
"I don't know. Maybe gymnastics."
And with that she picked out a cute black leotard and sparkly silver shorts.
For the gymnastics class that she isn't taking.
Then, my sister asked Olivia if she ever thought about being a cheerleader because Olivia's cousin was starting cheer lessons that very night and wouldn't that be fun?
That's all it took.
Cheer lessons it was.
With a promise of gymnastics this winter.
And so, last night I spent two hours in a hot, stuffy gym sitting on a not-so-clean mat on the floor, watching Olivia learn how to be a cheerleader. She looked a bit unsure of herself and couldn't do a cartwheel...but she was having FUN. It was hot. And exhausting. But it was fun.
Now, I might joke about how I'm now a 'dance mom' AND a 'cheer mom' and how at this point I'm just a reality show waiting to happen, but as long as my girls are happy and having fun...that's all that matters.
Bring on the pom poms and tutus.