Exhaustion has set in

Off to San Fransisco again today.

School clothes shopping and my daughter was in the best mood ever.

She discovered a place that embraces her sense of style.

She is not your average cookie cutter teen girl.

Sure, she whines a lot, is self centered and has been known to be lazy,

but she is also very driven, sets high goals for herself and is

pretty adventurous.

She was asked to be a cheer coach to the local pee wee girls.

I have to say, I'm secretly elated. But I would never let her know it.

She is typical in that, if I am for something, by definition it must be opposed.

It's normal teen behavior. I am not cool nor am I smart,

at least not for the next year or so.

But she agreed to coach them, and her face lights up when

the subject is brought up.

Because back when she was 5 her eyes were completely crossed,

and she had coke bottle lenses for her glasses.

It made her shy and the other kids didn't want to pick her for

p.e. games, because she had no depth perception.

She lacked confidence. Nothing I did or said would change HER

opinion of herself. Confidence comes from inside.

I had to try to figure out how to inspire a child who was

bright and funny and artistic, but was physically unable

to hit or catch a baseball. And while there are far worse

physical conditions she could have been dealt, I had to find a solution.

I tried gymnastics. Nope. She didn't believe in herself enough yet.

So we went for cheer leading. Yes, I know. The reputation precedes them.

And there were many who fit the stereotype on her squad.

But she could be part of a team. She didn't have to stand alone,

all eyes on her, in her mind, we were all waiting for her to fail.

She needed to ease her way into it. So she stood in the back row

for a few years. Slowly building her confidence and self esteem.

She made friends, and at the end of the halftime routines,

she felt like she belonged and had accomplished a goal.

She cheered for 5 years, taking 2nd place at Nationals in Vegas at age 12.

So for the last 3 years of high school, she hasn't cheered.

But coaching has brought that glimmer back into her eyes.

She spent most of Sunday practicing dance routines to teach

her new little cheerleaders.

She is feeling valued and that she has a place she fits in.

She commented to me that she doesn't dress or act like the

barbie doll clone cheerleaders at high school and wasn't sure

how her squad would react to her.

When one of the little girls we know found out K was her coach,

she ran up and gave her the biggest hug and told her how

excited she was K was coaching her.

My job wasn't to protect her from feeling like a loser by being the last kid

picked for team games at school.

My job was to show her how to pick herself up, dust herself off

and find joy in what she IS good at.

She has come to understand that in order for others to see her value,

she must first value herself.

She may never hit a home run in baseball, but she can do an amazing toe touch.

I couldn't make her have self confidence. She had to find that on her own.

But I felt it was my job as parent to provide opportunities for her to

experience pride in her accomplishments. It was a very slow process.

She expects no free rides. She knows the value of a dollar.

She also knows that she will face adversity.

It's how she handles it that makes all the difference.

I'm down to my last year of teaching her the skills she will need to

navigate through a very big and scary world.

I don't have all the answers, I've made my share of parenting mistakes.

So tonight, I'm exhausted from shopping, driving and trying to throw a dinner

together last minute.

I found out hubby will be gone all next week to L.A. for training.

I wish I could go too. Just to have someone else make my bed and prepare my meals.

But I have too much here that needs to be done.

I have got to stop rambling and go to bed.

I have a feeling come morning, this post will end up edited down to a reasonable

size.

Because at this point, I'm not sure I am making any sense.


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