Everyone needs a cheerleader in their life! Okay kids, before you hide your heads because your mother actually was a cheerleader, let me explain several things. First of all, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a cheerleader, there was not much else for a girl to do. Interscholastic athletics for females was just starting. Second, I know plenty of normal girls who are or have been cheerleaders and I also know plenty who will never be normal. I am not here to judge which group is which, but remember there are great people and there are nuts in every category of people. So, don't judge cheerleaders.
But this is not a diatribe about girls with short skirts and pompons. This is about having a cheerleader in your life. Someone who puts you on a pedestal and makes you feel beyond anything else, that you not only matter, but you ROCK! When I was 17 years old and headed to college, I met those people. They became my surrogate family during college and they remain my family to this day.
In our church, being selected as a Godparent is a huge deal. They are intended to play a vital role in the religious upbringing of Orthodox children from baptism throughout their lives. They are there to support the parents and act as advisors at times for not only the upbringing of their Godchildren, but also to advise the parents within their marriage. The people that I met on my way to college, later served as Godparents and witnesses to our marriage and eventually they were Godparents to all of our children!
Kuma (The Godmother) was my cheerleader. She made me start to believe in myself. She hailed every tiny step I took in adulthood. She and Kum (The Godfather) refused to believe anything negative about me (even if there was truth in it) and believe it or not, that belief and trust made me want to correct my errors. I am quite sure that their own children were often infuriated by how "perfect" they claimed that I was. We all knew better, but .... well, it felt good. I was important in their eyes and I began to believe that I really mattered in the world. It gave me courage to try new things and stand my ground when I felt that I was in the right and made decisions about my life and my children. Whenever they were around, I felt good about myself. When they weren't around, because we lived states away from each other, they were always available by phone. I made some pretty positive changes in my life because of their belief in me.
One of my favorite stories about never doing wrong, occurred when we were visiting them for a weekend. We were guests in Kuma's parents' home. Both had passed away recently and the house was vacant. Their family was coming to the Parents house to have coffee/breakfast with us. I decided to get the coffee ready. Please keep in mind, that I did not know how to make coffee. Doc always did that. But, I got everything ready to go and coffee was brewing when they arrived. Kuma poured herself a cup and gagged, and reprimanded her oldest daughter for making this horrible tasting drink. Her daughter looked at her and said, "I didn't make it, she did!" Kuma looked at all of us and smiled, and said, "Well really, this is quite delicious." Now THAT is a cheerleader!
If you think about college and high school sports, fans and cheerleaders yelling and cheering for their team boosts the spirit and you can see a physical difference in the team. We all need fans and cheerleaders, positive ones. Be your child's fan, be their cheerleader and encourage them to do what is right, make them feel great when they do. Don't ignore the errors. Correct those and then cheer them on. Get your pompons out and have a great week!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!