Parent Friends…or Not?

Yes, today will be a rant, and maybe even a whine.  But this has been on my mind all week (remember, I am stuck in a recliner all day), and I decided all of you would just Love to let me get it all out, so I quite thinking about it, and can get on with life.  Or at least reading all of your wonderful blogs that keep me going and sane right now.  Okay, here we go…

Last week I was sick, and couldn’t make the football game. I loathe when that happens because I hate to miss seeing Little One cheer.  But, with the way seating happened, all I would have seen were people’s rear ends, which while some would have been nice to gaze at, would have irritated me because they would have blocked the cheerleaders.

There is a group of us that sit together at the games. Husband and I usually arrive early, and then try to make sure there is room for the others.  Now, we don’t see these parents outside of school events, but we all chat, and we see each other through football and basketball season, so we are together a lot.  At the games we chat, we cheer for our kids, and we have a good time.

Husband went by himself to the game. Little One would have been really upset without a parent showing up, and he loves to watch the kids play football.  After all this time we know most of the kids who play.  He had his folding chair, and when he arrived, no one had saved him a place.  And no one offered to move to make room for him.  And he barely got a hello.  Everyone had to move shortly after this to the parking lot behind a chain link fence, and again no one in the group made any effort to include him.  He chatted with other people during the game, but he didn’t feel part of it all like he usually does.

When he got home and told me this it really peeved me. One of the Moms knew I was sick and couldn’t make the game.  I would have saved a place for her husband, and made sure Husband knew he was flying solo and to chat with him.  What we got was the opposite, which besides getting me mad, also made me question the friendships.  Which has made it difficult this past week to interact with the Mom I text with a lot.

What do these parent friendships, where we sit together weekly at games for our kids, chat, and get to know each other really mean? I frequently bring their kids to my house after school when their parents are at work, and take them to the game or get them to the school to ride the van to the game.  I’ve had a parent bring Little One home a couple of times when I’ve had a doctor’s appointment.  I know we don’t have life long bonds going here, but I thought there was a definite group where we sat together, and looked forward to being together weekly.  Perhaps I was wrong.

I’m not going to say anything to any of them tomorrow, because it would just cause unnecessary drama. And it wouldn’t make a difference; I can see the blank looks I’d get for asking why they didn’t make a place for him at the last game.  And, it also feels wrong to me to bring it up.  But I will be seeing everyone in a different way, and interacting with them differently.  I can’t help it.  They’ll put it down to my not feeling well, and being in pain.  Because we see what we want to see.  And right now, I see people who really aren’t friends.

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My Little One

I love watching Little One cheer. She completely lights up, and she is charged with energy.  Cheer coaches have told me how electrifying she is when she is “on”.  I like that she has so much fun doing it, and that it makes her happy.

I remember her very first cheer competition, when she was in 2nd grade.  She had spent the previous year watching her big sister do competitive cheer, and she couldn’t wait to join a team.  She was super nervous when the day came to compete, and she wouldn’t smile at all until it was all over.  I have a great picture taken of her right after it was over, and she has a big smile on her face.  That entire first year she couldn’t smile or do facials while competing until we were at nationals.  The very last competition of the season she finally smiled while doing the routine.  It was great!

I have always done her hair for cheer, except now she is so tall I need her to sit in a folding chair in the bathroom. She does her own make-up now, and likes to make sure there is some sparkle to it that the lights of the football field will pick up.  When the cheer team takes a water break, or has a break after their half-time routine I’m lucky to get a brief kiss in passing, because she has so many people to talk with.  That’s okay, because I’m just happy to be at the game to watch her cheer

She isn’t doing competitive cheer this year, due to my medical issues and her knee problem. She’s in a high level tumbling class once a week though, which she loves, and I’ll probably give in and let her take a 2nd one after the first of the year.  She comes home so happy, with such a big smile, ready to sit down and tell me all about the class and her accomplishments.  I look forward to that.

I tease Little One that she can’t go to the same university as Oldest One, that she has to live at home and go to the local university. She isn’t having any of it.  I told her to have fun in high school.  She can look forward to college, but she needs to live high school, and make good memories.  She can’t wait for her senior trip, and to start having the experiences she’s seen her big sister have.  I wouldn’t mind spending another hour with the 2nd grader who just finished her first cheer competition.