By Lorry Myers
The phone rang not long after I got to work and I knew it would be for me. The day before, my daughter had tried out for the cheerleading squad and today, the list of chosen cheerleaders would be posted on the bulletin board.
Would my daughter’s name be on it?
My sister was a cheerleader and so was I, but now, it was daughter’s turn and since many of her friends were trying out, I encouraged Mariah and prodded her to be a cheerleader too. “It means magic markers and new shoes,” I told her, my voice full of team spirit.
Mariah was uncertain.
“But I can’t jump that high,” she told me, certain about that part.
“You can do it,” I said, always the cheerleader.
“Maybe I might do better in the bleachers,” Mariah said in a rush, hinting at something else she hoped that I would hear.
“Who wants to be in the bleachers when you can be in front of the crowd?” I cheered, not listening to her at all.
“Ok,” Mariah sighed. “I will try.”
And try she did. I watched her practice and her arms were straight and her movements were sharp. Mariah worked on her jumps and found one that was all her own. But still, her heart wasn’t into all the chanting and clapping. There was a smile on her face but it never quite reached her eyes.
That will change, I told myself, when she is a cheerleader.
Still, I sensed that Mariah was uneasy and mistook it for nervousness, so the night before the tryout, I sat on the edge of her bed and gave a little pep talk.
“Go get ‘em! You can do it! S-U-C-C-E-S-S!”
Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.
For the complete column, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.