Homecoming

I walked up to the building and pang of memory hit me. Junior high wasn’t exactly my shining moment, but I sure did love school EXCEPT this gymnasium. This was where I learned some truths about Texas.
1. Little girls fixed their hair.(and they wanted to be cheerleaders)
2. Little girls wanted to be cheerleaders. (cheerleading was next to God)
3. Little girls smiled pretty, wore Dr Pepper or Bugglegum Bonne Bell lipgloss.(and they wanted to be cheerleaders)
4. And when it came to gym, little girls kicked butt. They climbed the rope, they hit the ball, they touched their toes.(and they wanted to be cheerleaders)

I was a little girl, but I did NONE of the above. Well, that’s not exactly true. I wanted to fix my hair, but Farrah Fawcett and big hair were all the rage. My hair fell flat no matter what I did, no matter how long I slept on those bristle rollers, no matter how much hairspray I used.
AND
cheerleading was out of the question. I couldn’t even do a cartwheel. My gym coach tried teaching me. She told me everyone learned using her sstem. I broke her perfect record.
I was an anti-cheerleader.

Things back home haven’t changed much.
The gym was packed wall-to-wall with little girls–one my niece. Their hair was perfect, their smiles in place on lipglossed lips. And they were ready to kick butt on the floor. Some even had their personal coaches with them leading them through back flips and roundoff back handsprings and yes, the cartwheel.

Some momma’s watched proudly–perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect tans, perfect clothes. I didn’t recognize them, but they looked like they’d been cheerleaders in their past lives.

My niece is 9. She was competing for one of the 15 slots available on the team. Over half the girls in her age group trying out wouldn’t make the team.

Sitting there in that hot gym, I remembered how BADLY I wanted to be one of those girls, how I never could do it, and how horrible that made me feel. I was 12. I can’t imagine feeling that way at 9!

My nieces are staying the night with me tonight. The one who tried out for cheerleader sent me to the following youtube video. It scared the crap out of me!

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