PLEASE NOTE:
These are NOT my photos.  I could never take photos this good.
These are from one of the parents, at the school, who is an amazing artist.  And I am so grateful for his talents.

She's got spirit, yes she does. She's got spirit, how about you?

She’s got spirit, yes she does. She’s got spirit, how about you?

My beautiful baby girl.

My beautiful baby girl.

2015 - 2016 Cheer Team.

2015 – 2016 Cheer Team.

Doing what she loves to do.

Doing what she loves to do.

Getting to do this with one of her oldest and closest friends. Icing.

Getting to do this with one of her oldest and closest friends. Icing.

Being part of this group, she's found her niche.

Being part of this group, she’s found her niche.

When I was growing up there were no actual cheerleaders in my schools. Ever. We just didn’t have them. Not when I was in Jr. High, in Saudi because of the skimpiness of the outfits. Never would have been appropriate. Then at Willy we didn’t have them either, because every student was required to be on an actual sports team. Or find a suitable alternative, like volunteering at a local horse ranch; which was equally physically demanding. Ask me how I know. LoL

Thus for me all cheerleader-related knowledge was learned from TV and the movies. Not very realistic, to say the least. I held a notion that cheerleading was a cop-out for doing actual sports. That the girls who choose to do cheerleading were doing so, because they were not capable of the physical work of athletics. I was lead to believe that cheerleaders were ditzy. That was until Bronwyn came into my life – and as she grew up, desired to be a cheerleader.

I did all that I could to redirect her desires into more socially acceptable, actual sporting, real activities. I was fighting a force of nature. Needless to say, I did not win.

My youngest daughter was going to be a cheerleader. Period.

I thought that she would grow out of this along the way. Grow bored with it. Realize that it was just a fluffy alternative.

Nope.

Here we are and my baby girl is on the high school cheer-leading squad.

And here I am being taught that every believe I held about cheer-leading and the girls who choose this, was wrong. Dead wrong.

Cheer-leading is an actual sport. A very physically demanding sport. These girls are as much athletes as the boys and girls that they cheer for, out on the football team. I watch as my daughter limps into a warm shower each night after practice, to ease her sore muscles. She uses all of them. I witness her deftly apply an ace bandage to her left ankle, each day before a game-night, because of the extra strain it takes, when she lifts her childhood playmate, up and over her head.

Did I say that these girls were ditsy? Oh I apologize now. Watching my the expression on Bronwyn’s face, I know that her brain is working over-time, when she is holding Abby up in the air. Concentrating and adjusting her body, to accommodate her teammate’s body, so as not to allow any harm to come to her. Also, these girls are required to maintain a 3.0 or better, to even participate. That’s above the 2.5 for other athletes. Their coach’s rules, not the school’s. These are the smartest girls you’ll meet in the school.

She has found her niche, my Baby Girl. And I’m so proud to watch her jumping, yelling, and encouraging her schoolmates, in their endeavors. On and Off, of the field. She is blossoming into a very out-going young lady, and it is because of her love for cheer-leading.

She’s come a long way from the little girl, who just stood on the sidelines, during the game.

She's come a long way from the little girl, who just stood on the sidelines, during the game.

She’s come a long way from the little girl, who just stood on the sidelines, during the game.

My pretty foot.

My pretty foot.

All the way around to my ankle.

All the way around to my ankle.

These were done by Daphne.

Yep. They were among her first attempts at even doing any sort of henna tattooing.

This all came about because of my sweet sister.

At the beginning of our Sisters Retreat Weekend, we are asked to stand up and announce to the Circle who we are, and what we bring to the community. Some women respond with, I’m a massage therapist. Others say, I’m really good at listening. I spoke of my own truths and talents. Daphne’s response was: I’m Daphne, and I’m not good at anything. I don’t have any talents.
😦

My sisters strove to change her mind on that. And Saturday morning one sister asked Daphne to put a mandala on her belly. She, like many of us, know about Daphne’s talent for free-handed drawings of mandalas. She brought some henna and told Daphne to decorate. So she did. After all, even Daphne knows not to speak back to one of her aunts. LoL

Beautiful henna - made even more so by the little boy inside.

Beautiful henna – made even more so by the little boy inside.

I am so grateful to her, and the others, who encouraged my child. To the ones who complimented her talents. To her for decorating my own foot and ankle. I feel so ubber pretty with my decorations. The only direction I gave her was to start at my big toe, and end around my ankle area. I think that she did an amazing job. I am looking forward to more of her talents being displayed upon my body.

At the end of the weekend, we are asked to give our thoughts on our experiences. Daphne said, “I’m grateful that I now know what my talent is.”

((*BIG MOMMA SIGH*))

“One Day” has magically arrived, like the fairy tales describe. It was just suddenly here. I thought that there would be more time. There isn’t.

Kindergarden

Kindergarden

The sun is bright -n- shining today ~ just like you.

I can still see the excited litlle girl, who laid out her red flower backpack 13 years ago.  Who wanted me to braid her hair each morning, “2 braids Mommy!”.  Who always insisted on wearing a dress, and that I not cry.

My heart is full of Love for you.  Joy at the beautiful girl you’ve grown into.  Pride at the way you are chasing your dreams with both hands.

Senior Year

Senior Year

Now before me stands an excited young woman, laying out her cap and gown.  Wearing soft curls in her honey locks.  Twirling around in her princess dress.

And insisting that I dry my tears.

mom muffins 2

Look who took me to breakfast. Even gave me coffee. 🙂

mom muffins

becca and me

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“Which were you?
The princess
The brain.
The jock.
The basketcase.
The rebel.”

Rebecca and I went to see the Breakfast Club last night.  I like how she really got into the movie.  Then she actually had nice, intelligent commentary about the film.

Russell wanted to play baseball again this fall.  Which I am thrilled with.  I figure that it will give him a good outlet for his excess energy… and hopefully a way to learn focus. His first game was a couple of weeks ago, in DeBary; today was his first game on his home turf. Go Knights!

Knights of Fall Ball 2014

Knights of Fall Ball 2014

So there’s this boy band. LoL

Rebecca is in love with the boys of this band. She has got their posters alllllll over her room. She wanted to go and see them in concert. The tickets sold out in hours of going up. Tim came to the rescue back in January. He even bought a 3rd ticket for Rebecca to take a friend. After all what is a concert experience if you can’t take your very best BFF? Yet, he respected me as her mom, and knew that I felt she needed to earn and respect this gift that was coming her way. To be grateful for it. So he agreed that she and her friend, would have to earn the money to pay for the 3rd ticket. Well they did. It shocked me. And I think it shocked them too.

So I picked the girls up early from school and drove them to Tampa. I even wore the shirt that Rebecca made me, so that I wouldn’t look too geeky, in front of the other fans there. 🙂

While it was a beautiful night for music, and the seats were literally perfect for viewing the concert. Not the upper nosebleed section where you had to crane your neck down to see the ant-like people. Not on the bottom where you had to crane your neck up, to see their feet. We were able to view them straight ahead, and close enough to make them all out individually. Despite all of this, I enjoyed watching Rebecca’s reaction to everything, more than anything.

If I could give her a life experience where she got to live like ‘this’ every moment, of every day… I would.