Leanne spends a minimum of 15 hours per week at cheerleading. She does not mind at all. In fact, I have to practically drag her out of the gym after each practice. She just loves it! One of my dearest friends just can not understand why we love this sport so much. I don't really know either. I think the glitter, sparkly outfits, fake hair, the lights, music and the thrill of the stunting is what Leanne likes. I think the reason I am so into it is because Leanne really excels at cheerleading. Leanne started cheering right after she was placed with us. She was so shy and sad. Cheerleading really brought her out of her shell. She is a totally different little girl. I like to think some of it was excellent parenting, but I will give credit where credit is due:) Cheerleading gave her the confidence nothing else could in that difficult time in her life. I don't know if I would feel as strongly about it as I do, if she was not so talented. But, I can honestly say "My girl is GOOD!". Or maybe I am living vicariously through my daughter? Hmmm... That something to think about:)
Cheerleading has instilled so many wonderful traits in Leanne at such a young age. As a homeschooler she does not have to work with groups of her peers. She works at her own pace and has no one to be accountable to. Being part of a team has taught her:
1.) How it is necessary for the whole group to work together to make a something work.
2.) How to work together with a person she may not really like.
3.) How to be a part of team.
4.) How having a positive attitude is always important.
5.) Life does not always work out the way you want it to.
I am sure there are many more lessons she has learned on her team, but those are the 5 she could come up with when I asked her.
Leanne and I get to spend a lot of quality time together because of cheer. She and I spend a lot of girl weekends together (we usually bring Katie along too!). We have had a mother/daughter trip to Florida for Nationals for the last 3 years. We will be going again in March and we are both looking forward to it. I hope as Leanne gets older she will look back at all the time she and I spent together and realize how much I loved being with her. Leanne is such a loving, sweet, caring, smart and beautiful young lady. I am honored to be her mother.