Seven days, five hours, 32 minutes and four seconds ago….
….I became one of those moms.
To my credit….at the time I had no idea how I was coming across.
I thought I was just being helpful.
And encouraging and uplifting and inspiring and constructive….and maybe, just maybe….
…..the tiniest bit zealous.
After all, it was an occasion of great magnitude.
Middle school cheerleading tryouts.
Maybe it was my own failed attempt at cheerleader tryouts where I awkwardly stood in front of a panel of judges with a lot of heart and spunk and a bow in my hair with my name on it and shouted out, “Victory, victory, victory tonight” followed by a cartwheel that looked like a cross between a windmill and a chicken trying to cross the road.
Maybe it was the fact that I knew that feeling of despair when they post the names for the squad….
….and yours isn’t there.
Maybe it was the determination and excitement I saw in my daughter’s eyes.
All I knew was that I was on the task.
And super, super, super helpful.
And I was.
Helpful, I mean.
I watched as she practiced her routine and made helpful suggestions (only helpful of course).
I planned out the perfect cheerleading tryout outfit for her (extra, extra helpful).
I watched her cartwheels and pointed out just a few teeny tiny things she could improve on (with only the most helpful of tips).
I even performed the cheer myself complete with an award winning smile and a few signature moves that I felt added a little something extra to the routine.
Helpfulness at its finest.
The day of tryouts finally arrived.
We were ready.
And early (which almost never happens) with bows on.
We stood outside the tryout room and I again, I was very helpfully giving her some last minute tips and pointers and reminding her to do this and this and oh….don’t forget this….
….when all of a sudden she interrupted me.
“Mom,” she said looking up at me with the most beautiful set of solemn blue eyes. “I got this.“
I literally stopped mid-sentence and stared at her.
What was I doing?
Who was this super-helpful, tip-pointing-out, routine-improving, super-smile-reminding, cartwheel-evaluating mom that I had become?
Standing in there outside the gym, I realized that there was only one person trying out for cheerleader.
And it wasn’t me.
I was so ashamed.
I almost broke down in tears, but I didn’t.
Instead, I hugged her and told her she was amazing and that no matter what happened she was a creative, incredible, wonderful, one-of-a-kind-about to be middle-schooler.
And I was so proud to be her mom.
She smiled at me….the kind of smile someone gives you when they know you and all your faults and they love you anyway….and then she patted my arm and repeated again, “Don’t worry, Mom. I got this.”
And she did. 🙂
PS Yes, she made the squad.
In spite of all my help. 🙂