Thursday

rah!

God has played a cosmic joke on me: last night at middle school orientation, my daughter announced she had signed up for the cheerleading squad.

That's right, my daughter is going to be a freaking cheerleader.

Now before anyone starts in on me about letting kids be themselves, etc, etc, etc, I want to make clear that I have in no way discouraged her from signing up for the cheerleading squad. I told her she should get involved in whatever interests her, but I must admit that I always imagined my daughter would be more like I was as a 6th grader: bookish, a bit geeky, interested in politics, a voracious reader...

She is none of those things. She is gorgeous, poised, highly social, totally apolitical, and and her favorite reading material is Teen Vogue and Tiger Beat magazine. And now she wants to be a cheerleader.

We do share a deep love of shoes, lipgloss, and horses, and I enjoy her company like no other girl on the planet. We are very close and I hope we stay that way. But gee are we ever different in some ways!

Cheerleading.

Sigh.

(I think I read somewhere that HipMama Superior ARIEL GORE'S daughter is a cheerleader. Need to ask Ariel about that...)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chin up. Many former cheer leaders have gone on to fame and glory. Trent Lott.

Anonymous said...

and GW Bush.

Spiney

Anonymous said...

Funny how lots of things in your life w/ kids seem to relate to my own life w/ kids. I was also bookish, political and totally un-fashionable at 11. My daughter, who's 4 1/2, bought lipgloss today for the first time, wants to do ballet, loves all things pink and would want to be a cheeleader if such things existed here. And she's been like that since I can remember, even though her first mass contact with kid's pop culture only happened an year ago when she went to preschool.


Marta

dedanaan said...

My condolences.

eleven said...

Prepare yourself to deal with some of the most competitive,controlling and twisted people that you will ever have the misfortune to deal with!What an eye-opening experience this whole deal was for me!My daughter made this same"shocking"decision in 7th grade and the nonsense that went on between the coaches and the parents was deplorable!(not to mention the insufferable amount of practices!)I had 2 years of this nonsense and thankfully my daughter got tired of it and I regained my sanity.

Emily Smith said...

The whole point of extracurricular activities is that they are enriching, enjoyable, or both. It sounds like Jane just wants to try cheerleading for fun -- it doesn't mean she will subscribe to a lot of silly ideas about femininity or turn into a vapid bimbo or a Mean Girl.

Disclaimer: I was a varsity cheerleader in high school, but I was also interested in politics (volunteered in the Clinton-Gore campaign, even!), read voraciously, and earned a full academic scholarship to college. ;-)

Elizabeth said...

I'm laughing out loud here....sorry, but I'm not seeing this ever happening in my life! My 12 year old daughter is much more radical than I am. I had to convince someone recently who wanted to know what kind of gift card she could give Hibi for her services (we were asked to sing at this woman's wedding) and she kept trying to say that she'd get her a Nordstrom card. I had to say it twice--first time, suggesting a Powell's card, and then again saying that she really is not a Nordstrom type of girl. I'm not sure what she'd do with a Nordstrom card. I'm sure I could find something to do with it but Hibi is no way going to buy anything from Nordstrom. Political? Absolutely, and much more passionate that I--if less reasonable than I. :-)

It can cause it's own types of problems, too....but at least I'm fairly sure I won't ever have a cheerleader on my hands.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Kids never cease to surprise parents by choosing the things most likely to drive them bananas.

I have to say, the idea of you with a "vapid bimbo/Mean Girl" daughter is utterly hilarious.

karrie said...

Didn't Gore's daughter also swing back more in the direction of her mother? I vaguely remember a piece her kid wrote for Hip Mother (I think) where she mentioned having come full circle, so to speak. I think she even has her own zine?

I'm honestly not sure I would allow a hypothetical daughter (I only have a son) to cheerlead. It would really depend on how the squad was run, and even if it was a radical feminist cheerleading team, I'd probably still be icked out by the idea.

Anonymous said...

Be careful about the physical side of it. Sometimes cheerleaders are doing things nowadays that are more suitable to gymnastics without proper training or supervision.

The social side I think will take care of itself. I too don't see your daughter becoming a 'mean girl.'

Anonymous said...

The experience that I have had with your little girl reveals her to be a charming and good-hearted kid. A pair of pom-poms won't change that! However, I gotta echo the sentiments of others who warn you of the other dreaded Southern Cheer-leading Moms. Lordy.
becky

Laura said...

I was confronted with this same issue last year when darling daughter #3 became one of those creatures. These cheerleaders were the ones who used to torment me as a kid and now my daughter is one of them. I only agreed to support her if she uses her cheerleading powers for good.

Rich said...

Katie, I know how you feel. My middle son just revealed that he's becoming a union organizer and labor agitator for food service folks in resort communities.

I always told my kids to take a stand for what they believed in, so I'm backing him all the way.

It does feel funny though...

Amy B. said...

Well, I guess you could send her to Webb. Isn't it funny how kids come up with the one thing you would never expect? I am sure she will not be the stereotypical mean cheerleader, at least in part because I don't think you would allow that. Good luck with the teen years. :)

Anonymous said...

I think its great. it would be even greater if she bottlefed by choice. THAT would be the ultimate cosmic comeuppance.

Dave said...

I don't think it's such a bad thing. Most of the monster moms of cheerleading had daughters that started in Pee Wee leagues when they were four. Your kid is in 6th grade and is doing it for the first time. She has had some life without cheerleading and so she has some perspective, even if she is only 11 or 12. If it ain't for her, she'll figure it out and move on. And if she likes it, find a way to support her because it's something that is hers.

At the middle school where I teach, I always watch out for the kids who make no effort to find their way and make connections within the school, whether it's through clubs, sports, being a library or office helper, or whatever. She'll find her way. As will you.