Give me an “N”!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot I was going to talk about how cheerleading has taken over our lives!

When Krystal brought home the flyer for Football and Spirit at the end of the school year last year I asked her if she wanted to do it. And why wouldn’t I? It is sponsored by the same city organization that ran the Cross Country program she’s participated in the last two years which was fabulous. I saw no reason to not expect more fabulous-ness coming our way.

My first clue that things might not be quite what I’d hoped was on sign-up night. I think I wrote four checks: a registration fee, a uniform fee, a fundraising fee, and a volunteer fee. The last three were post dated, and would only be cashed if her uniform wasn’t turned in, we didn’t raise the required minimum for fundraising, and if I didn’t put in my minimum 4 hours of volunteer time per child. Seems like they have me over a barrel, no?

After writing all these checks there was no information shared on when and where to get a uniform, when the season would start, how many games there might be or really any other details that participants, especially new ones, might want to know. I really wanted to grab all my checks back and march right out of there but … think of the children!

Next clue was a month or so later when we went to the “uniform fitting”. Girls who had done this before wore bathing suits under their clothes to easily try things on in the non-private area designated for this. Yeah, not us. We didn’t know! While there we ran into a girl Krystal knew from several years ago and her mom. This was to be the girl’s second year doing it – her mom told me “She loves it, but it’s a commitment.”  Gulp. I have enough commitments on my plate! What does this mean!!

Clue #3 arrived in late July when we learned practices would start next week. Thanks for the advance notice guys! Oh, and they are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6-8:30. Missed practices are grounds for being kicked off the team. No refunds.

When are we supposed to eat dinner??

I will say the practice schedule eased somewhat once school started: two nights a week from 6-8 and Saturday mornings. That felt like a break after the summer schedule.

And while all of those things were pretty bad, the most infuriating thing to me was that we never found out till Wednesday or Thursday where and when the Sunday game was to be played! This made it impossible to make any weekend plans from August through just this past weekend when the final game was (finally) played.

And just so you don’t think we can put this to bed till next year (or forever), the competition schedule is now in full swing. Krystal’s team has done really well at the two events they’ve been in so far (first place at both, including state champs in their division!). The next event is Regionals over Thanksgiving weekend. If they come in first, second or third  they (we) will go to Nationals in Florida. Holy Orlando!

Some additional thoughts: as a kid I hated cheerleaders on principle. They were the pretty, popular, snobby girls who weren’t my choice for friend (and vice versa). As an adult, I am really bothered by the fact the cheer teams are there as “decoration” for the boys who are doing what you really came to see (the football game). That’s why I am actually welcoming the competition season as at least the team is doing something to excel in their own right.

Cheer tryouts for Krystal’s middle school team were yesterday. And she’s already talking about next year for this program.

Give me an “N!” (nooooooooo!!!!)


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