Sunday, February 20, 2011
i had to laugh this last week when one of my young women approached me and said the following phrase:
"look at you Sister Chapman! you're living the DREAM!"
little did she know that less than 10 minutes before, i had been rushing out the door to make it to our activity, when Alice spit up in my hair while Ellie dumped a bowl of cereal + milk all over our kitchen floor. the cereal + milk was in fact still all over the floor.
yeah, some dream, i thought.
i laughed again yesterday when Ellie, Alice and i were at our little local donut shop that we frequent on the weekends together. (side note:, i justify any and all sweets during busy season. because i'm working so hard.) well, we had grabbed a quick lunch while we were out that we were eating together before we could have our donut reward.
"one more bite of chicken and one more bite of apple, and then you can have your pink-sprinkle donut, Ellie!"
of course she was thrilled and her little eyes lit right up. so she chomped that chicken and gobbled that apple until her mouth was as full as a squirrel packing nuts for winter.
but squirrels, they're smart. they pack those nuts in their cheeks. or at least that's what i imagine they do with them. they don't try to swallow big chunks right away because that's what crazy people do.
crazy people like Ellie.
there she was, trying to keep her end of the bargain (one bite of chicken + one bite of apple = donut), and swallow that dang mouthful so she could have the good stuff...
on the table.
on her Minnie Mouse dress (remember? we spend 90% of our days in dress ups).
on the bench.
on the floor.
oh yeah, this is my dream come true.
after we were home and had recovered from all of that crazy barfing business, Ellie was going through all the DVD's and VHS's we have (i know, we're so retro, sportin' the VHS's). well, she came across my old High School Cheerleading VHS.
"i wanna watch this one!"
but she was so insistent, so i just turned the dang thing on.
she wanted me to be in every picture and video.
and was so mad when i wasn't.
and then, this whole flood of emotions came over me.
yes, i was a cheerleader in high school.
but only for my sophomore and junior years.
you see, my junior year of high school...cheerleading wasn't the best experience for me.
the girls were wonderful- some of the sweetest girls i'm privileged to know.
but- after making the Varsity Squad, we had tryouts for the Competition Team. all of us were required to be on the Competition Team- and in years before, being on the Varsity Squad usually had meant that you would be on that team. and the "extras" (the "just-in-case-someone-got-injured-back-up-girls) usually came from the Sophomore Squad. well, this year, that wasn't the case. i didn't make the cut for the competition team. i was deemed an "extra" for the competition team, even though i was a Junior and on the Varsity Squad.
this means that i was on the Varsity squad, but didn't compete in the routines.
that doesn't mean i wasn't there at practices or competitions.
no, me and the four other extras were there at every practice. and every competition. and every road-trip.
on the sidelines.
cheering the other girls on.
longing to be out on that blue floor.
i know this all sounds so...lame.
but it was a very painful experience for me in my gawky-insecure-teenage-girl-body.
i remember many nights crying myself to sleep.
i remember wanting so badly to be a part of that unique unity that those other girls shared...and for the coach to pick me and trust me enough to put me out on that floor.
but she didn't.
and yesterday, when one of those routines started, and Ellie kept asking me,
"which one is you?? where is you!?"
finally, i started crying and said, "i'm not out there Ellie. those ones don't have me."
and all of that pain i felt all of those silly high school years ago came rushing back to my little heart.
and then i thought of that Young Woman who had approached me that night last week.
and instead of laughing, i understood a little bit.
while i can remember wonderful experiences with wonderful, lasting friends when i think of my high school experience, i also realize that high school had a lot of dr-ah-ma.
high school is such a tough time.
there is such an identity crisis going on.
you seem to know what you want, but are unclear of how to get there.
and then you change your mind of what you want, and so getting there is all of a sudden so confusing because you're not sure where you even want to go.
and friends are everything.
but your friends are going through the same identity crisis as you...so while they often come through for you, they also often let you down.
and when that happens, since they are everything, you feel like the world around you is crumbling.
and to add to all of that, your poor little self-esteem is so greatly influenced by the things you do, don't do, achieve or don't achieve.
and so, i understand why that girl told me that i was living the dream.
it's because i am.
i'm living the life i always dreamed i would as a young high school girl, whose world looked bleak and who wondered if anyone would ever choose her for the team.
and while it's taken different turns, and there have been countless bumps in the road, and sometimes barfs in the hair and face...i couldn't have dreamed a better dream than having a kind hubby who chooses me every day, and two girls who choose me too.
thanks, cute little Young Woman, for reminding me.