I had two significant eye-opening events happen this week:
1. My preschool daughter proclaimed that she wants to be a cheerleader despite my repeated protests.
2. My oldest son silently morphed into a preteen overnight.
As I stared at these creatures in disbelief, I thought to myself, “Who ARE you people and what have you done to the previous owners of your bodies?”
First off: I am not a cheer hater.
When I was a freshman in high school, I’m pretty sure I asked about the time commitment required to toss around the pom poms. Once I heard that I couldn’t play sports and cheer (that I’d have to pick one over the other), I sacrificed the spirit squad.
As a dear friend recently said, “You can either cheer for people or be the one they cheer for.”
It’s raw. A bit brutal. But true.
So, you can imagine my friends’ delight (many of whom were once cheerleaders) when they learned my one and only daughter is declaring her independence and embracing all things girly.
I see her slowly slipping away. As she heads into the sunset, her bouncy ponytail and perfect ribbon bow will scream back at me, “Peace out, tomboy!”
My oldest son, on the other hand, lives in the gym and on the ball field when he’s not in the classroom, sleeping, or wrestling with his brother. I thought we were on the same sports wavelength until he questioned whether or not I was qualified to give him basketball advice.
And I quote, “Mom, you never even played.”
Um… EXCUSE ME?!
I quickly corrected him: “I did too play! I just didn’t score! Rebounding was my specialty, followed closely by fouling!”
Honestly, how would he ever know that? I played in the freaking 1990s after all. The decade of the typewriter and those high-tech gadgets called answering machines.
My son now wears a size 10.5 shoe. He just turned 11. On the same day he celebrated his birthday, I became painfully aware of how old his mom must be.
I recently glanced down at my van’s odometer and couldn’t help but laugh.
Having felt what it’s like to see 100,000 miles pass before my very eyes, I offer up this advice to all parents: Enjoy the scenery.
It goes by far too quickly and you can miss some pretty amazing stuff if you’re not looking.
Heidi Woodard is married with three children. Read her Thursdays on momaha.com
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