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.

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My Little One

Little One often feels like she gets less attention and less stuff then Oldest One.  This year is a big one for her sister, so I understand why she feels that way.  I’m the youngest, and growing up it often felt like I never had any milestones because when I did my brothers always had bigger ones.  I did reassure her that next year, when she is the only child in the house, she will have All of my attention.  Strangely, that didn’t cheer her up.

This week Little One has done things that make me sad at how fast she is growing up.  Not that she won’t do these things again, but as she enters high school, and the world really does revolve around her and she develops tunnel vision, she might not do these things as often.

Over the weekend I had a sinus-type of migraine, and I was taking Benadryl and Sudafed to help.  Saturday afternoon I got very sleepy, and I couldn’t focus on what I was reading on my Kindle, so I decided to snooze off.  I woke up a bit when Little One gently removed my Kindle from my hands and put it on the side table, and then tucked the blanket in around me.  What a sweetie girl!

Tuesday the girls cheer gym was supposed to be evaluated and their routines given feedback.  This required the girls to have full cheer hair.  I really don’t like the way the hair is done this year, because it isn’t that easy to do, and a real nightmare to take out.  Big pouf in front, and the high ponytail in back is curled, teased out with a comb, then hair sprayed into a ball.  There is also the required huge bow in it.  I had curled Little One’s hair the night before, and taken out the curlers in the morning, but Oldest One had to do the pouf (I have no idea how she pulled the hair out of the ponytail) and teasing because I couldn’t get home from work in time to do it.  I warned Husband he might want to leave the house while that was going on, because it generally involves crying and screaming.  Well, the evaluators never showed up, so it was all for nothing.  When Little One got home after 9p that night the first thing she did after dropping all her stuff on the dining room table was to come over and full out lay on top of me (I was in the recliner) so I could hug her and stroke her head.  She had a hard day, and she wanted Mommy.

She called me during her lunch yesterday.  She does this several times a week, sometimes with a real question, sometimes with a made-up question.  I think she just likes that she can call me on her cell phone when she is at lunch.  There is a ton of background noise (a school cafeteria) and often her friends are in the background screaming “Hi”.  It’s actually nice that she is still at an age where she wants to call me just to hear my voice.  I’ll be lucky if that lasts through the end of this year.

So, I may not mention her as much right now as I do Oldest One, but it’s not because I’m ignoring her.  There is just so much going on with Oldest One that Little One kind of gets a bit lost in all of the activities.  But I’m lucky in that she still wants to watch TV with me, read books with me, play board games with me, and best of all, she still likes me to give her a hug and kiss goodnight.  My Little One is an amazing girl, and I am so lucky to be her Mom.

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love.  Two words, but they can mean so much.  I know I have it for my girls, and for Husband.  But not everyone gets it.  Look around, its absence is everywhere.  But I’m not necessarily talking about the obvious, the beatings and abuse.  Sometimes it’s the kind that we can pretend we have, but we don’t, or at least we are made to feel we don’t have it.

I look at my girls, and I know what I never want to say to them, and how I never want to treat them.  A list might be:

  • You’re fat
  • You need to go on a diet / I’m putting you on a diet
  • Anyone else would have had a date with that boy before he left our house
  • You’re stupid / You’re an idiot
  • They couldn’t find anyone better for the job?
  • Your sister did a better job when she did it

I could go on, but the point has been made.  Yes, yes, I do have low self-esteem at times.  Which Husband is always boosting, he luckily thinks I am beautiful and smart, and truly understands why I have the urge to hide chocolate.  He’ll even pretend not to see it when I fall back into doing that.

I am a happy person, and I consider myself lucky/blessed with my family (Husband and girls).  It doesn’t stop me from feeling that in certain parts of my life there isn’t Unconditional Love.  Yet I feel there should be, and I’m being shorted.  Most of the time I look back and the memories I don’t want can be pushed into a little box and covered.  Until they all come bursting out and hit me, and make me feel like a complete loser.

I know the saying that no one but me can make me feel a particular way.  But sometimes people or things said and done can make me feel a certain way, and that is just how it is going to be.  And I am determined I won’t make my girls feel these things.  They are smart and I tell them and praise their good grades.  I help them stay active and try to keep the garbage food level down.  I truly don’t favor one over the other, and I try to let them know that also.  They are each unique and amazing, and I couldn’t choose, because I love each so much.  I let them know I am proud of the people they are growing up to be.  When they do something I’d rather they didn’t, I try to frame it in a way that is about the action, but not about their being smart or not.  Do I always succeed with this?  Probably not.  But I know I haven’t done any of the things on the list.

I know I’m not the only person to feel I’m not loved unconditionally, and I know I can do my best to make sure my girls and Husband never think I feel that way about them.  I also know that I’m not willing to share how I feel with those that tell me I’m silly for the feelings, or that it is my ego so I should get over it.  I also, after all these years, really don’t want to deal with people who have so little regard for how they make me feel.  And maybe I don’t have to.  I’m big on forgiving and forgetting, and giving people chance after chance after chance.  But there comes a time when you feel you don’t have any chances left in you.

And maybe, that’s okay.