When I was growing up, I swam, took karate, and played soccer & softball. My mom put me in ballet and tap classes as a little, little kid, but I don’t think I really enjoyed it (and those tu-tus are damned itchy.) I was a cheerleader in high school (well, I wore a cheerleading uniform and yelled encouraging things at football games), but I was not a gymnast and I am not flexible. (I could barely turn a cartwheel, let alone do the splits.)
My boys play soccer and baseball. (Did I mention I have a few boys around here?) They have fun, but they aren’t in to it. We also have fairly strict guidelines: school comes first, one sport or activity at a time and no one is on a travel team.
My best friend’s 7 year old daughter, Kaya, has a sport: cheerleading. I have all boys (did I say this before?) and I am completely ignorant of today’s girl culture. There is a whole industry churning out little cheerleaders and selling them gym fees, tumbling lessons, coaching, uniforms, sparkly eyeshadow and hair bows.
They drive all over the place attending these competitions and they practice 6+ hours a week. I had no idea. I had heard of little girls cheering, of course, but I imagined it was like cute little girls at a recital who waved to their parents in the audience instead of dancing.
I went to watch Kaya compete yesterday, and it was amazing. There was an entire college sports center filled with little girls from about 4 to 14, and their stunts (and micro-mini skirts) defied gravity. These girls were flipping through the air, tossing and catching each other, and, some were gyrating and thrusting their little hips like there was no tomorrow. And that was just the 8 year olds.
It was Bring It On, but with no plot. (Not that there really was a plot in the movie, either….) The seats were filled with people(who paid $15 a head to get in) cheering on the cheerleaders. Who knew? (OK, apparently everyone but me, but whatever.)
I don’t know that my husband would be able to take it if we had girls. Our hypothetical daughter would probably be the only one out there in sweatpants and a turtleneck.
God gives you what you can handle.