Born in Guatemala, my daughter is blessed with a compact, strong, limber body. And, her personality is lively and girlie. So she naturally demonstrates potential and interest in cheerleading, which she began competitively last summer. I, with an entirely different set of genetics, lack any athletic ability at all. Therefore, when she ventured into the sport of cheerleading, I found there is a lot to learn.
For example, there are the bases and the flyers. My daughter does some of both. There are the insanely huge and ornate cheer bows that perch satellite-dish style atop the competitors’ heads. I had to develop a taste for those, but I am now fully on board with cheer bow fashion. The competitions include a wide range of categories related to age, skill levels, and team size. And, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding the intricacies of scoring performances. Most recently I learned what is meant when coaches and team members say “throw it.”
In cheerleading “throw it” is synonymous with the expression “chuck it,” but the culture of our gym and coaches (and, in-the-know parents) is to use “throw it” when referring to an athlete’s attempt to make a back handspring. It is typically used when a cheerleader is just beginning to learn the skill. They may be nervous or scared, but they are encouraged to “throw it,” which simply means to give it a try. Hands are used in this skill, so that’s why the words “throw” or “chuck” come into play. Once I figured this out, I started using the proper language and urging, and, yes, my girl has indeed “thrown it.”
My son, a fan of classic TV and the Old Farmer’s Almanac, shares Granny Moses (of the Beverly Hills Clampetts) quotes and weather tips regularly.
When our children are small, we are in constant teaching mode – warning them about stranger danger, practicing shapes and colors, reading Bible stories, modeling proper social skills, and writing numbers and counting. But, as they become older, we get to a place where we can begin to really learn from them.
So, love and teach them every day, but learn from them along the way!
What have your children taught you? Share with us how they have broadened your horizons.