So, the kid wants to cheerlead this winter.
This is a world I know nothing about, and quite frankly, I am frightened.
One of our local youth sports leagues sent flyers to every kid at Ainsley's school about their boys' and girls' basketball and cheerleading programs this winter. I let Ainsley choose one outside-of-school activity each season, and for years now she's chosen swimming. But now she has decided she's burned out with swimming for a little while ("Mommy, I am so over swimming right now," were her exact words) and wants to trade her swim cap in for pom-poms.
It's a non-competitive league where the boys and girls playing basketball just learn the fundamentals and get to wear a team uniform and play shortened games on Saturday mornings at a local middle school. The girls trying their hand at cheerleading get to wear cute uniforms and learn some sideline cheers and have to buy hairbows and socks in their team color and hopefully, for sake of her twice-concussioned head, stay on the floor and not in any kind of pyramid formations.
She did a beginners basketball camp last winter and loved it so I was really hoping, with her above-average height, that she would give basketball a try. But the flyer had her at "registration fee includes uniforms and pom-poms."
I really don't know what I'm getting us into here. This is a world I was never part of, and never really wanted to be a part of (sometimes I think I'm a lot better at something than I am, but I always knew I was pretty sucky at tumbling, being upbeat and cheery, and doing coordinated dance moves, which pretty much took me out of the running for being a cheerleader). I have no idea whether the other moms will just show up to the Saturday games in the spirit of fun or if there will be "cheer moms" armed with hair spray and freaking out if little Madison's arms aren't extended enough during "We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!" And I can't help but worry that Ainsley is going to really, really like this and want to do it the rest of her childhood. Not because I don't approve of cheerleading as an activity, but because when she gets to the point where she's flipping through the air in basket tosses, I'm going to think about the study I heard about where if someone gets three or more lifetime concussions, their risk for permanent brain damage and dementia goes way up. We're already to two concussions. I'd much prefer her doing activities where her feet stay firmly on the ground (or underwater.)
She's so jazzed to do it, though, that I am willing to give it a try. At the very least, I am thinking it will give me some good blogging material.