As a kid I liked playing Mouse Trap instead of Barbies. As a mother of a daughter I chose to dress her in tailored plaids over pink ruffles, and in high school I preferred playing basketball over cheerleading. I should clarify that the cheerleading coaches weren’t knocking down my door, but for some reason throughout my life the act of cheerleading has always rubbed me wrong. (And with my sensitivity to chafing, I always take things like that seriously.) I will never forget “Spirit Week” in 1987 when my friend came to school on “Nerd Day” dressed as a cheerleader. There was a big uproar among the perky and flexible at San Pasqual High School, but I was among the callous who laughed all day and I remember it fondly to this day.
In regards to my aforementioned daughter, pleated jumpers and denim dresses only remained a part of her repertoire until she was old enough to protest. Before having a child I anticipated this age to be somewhere around 10 or 11, but I haven’t had a say in my daughter’s wardrobe choices since Bill Clinton became a womanizer. To date Samantha owns at least 17 Barbies, has dressed as a different princess for the last three Halloweens, chooses ruffles and glitter over pleats any day, and takes gymnastics class over my regular suggestions to try something different. And today? Well, today is “Sports Day” at her Elementary school and my daughter is going dressed as…you guessed it, a cheerleader.
I have to admit that when Samantha informed me of today’s dress theme and asked the whereabouts of the cheerleading costume, I had evil thoughts. First, I wanted to launch into a dissertation that rejects cheerleading as a sport. (Sorry.) Second, I thought about finding the costume before she did so I could hide it somewhere really inconspicuous like, say, the trash. Third, I remembered my friend on Nerd Day and I laughed all over again. Finally, in spite of my inner protests and being the stellar and non-controlling mother that I am I kept my mouth shut, retrieved the cheerleading outfit, and sent my daughter to school wearing something that made me cringe…and surely not for the last time.