Maria complained last night when I picked her up from school. She did not want to leave. The reason: she did not want to march in the homecoming parade.
“Mom, I don’t want to walk all that way!” (The parade is about a half mile long).
She then took it a step further.
“I hate cheer leading. Just hate it. I just do it for you and dad.”
Little did she know that I was not backing down on this one; she had to finish out the season and then we’d stop next year if she wanted. But i was a taken aback because she seemed to be enjoying it the last few weeks.
Jon asked what was the matter when she stormed in the house and stomped up the stairs. I told him. He walked up and got her laughing (he can get her laughing anytime). A few minutes later, he asked her if she really hated cheer leading. She said “no.”
I looked at her quizzically and asked why she kept telling me she hated it but told dad she liked it.
“Dad understands me, mom. That’s all.”
Oh, ok.
We laughed together on our walk to the middle school – she was in much better spirits explaining that sometimes it’s hard being a cheer leader because her team loses a lot and she wants to win. A little competitive spirit coming out in her….
We got to the school and she played with her friends while the band got in order. She wanted nothing to do with me as can be seen by this picture…

Classic “Maria to mom” look.
But then one of her friends udged her and told her to smile and I got this picture of the Maria I know and love…

Much better.
Meanwhile, Mario stood across from the high school cheerleaders and showed off his moves. They giggled and stared at him saying “he’s so cute!” He acted like he didn’t hear them but as soon as they stopped he danced harder and revved up his show so that they’d pay attention to him again.

It worked.
Luckily, Maria did not witness this behavior. She would have been totally embarrassed and certainly would have tried to put a stop to it.
In the end, it all worked out. Maria walked in the parade and had fun. Mario got attention from the high school cheer leaders and ate it up.
A win for everyone.