It all started with a button.
I was somewhat new to motherhood. I had my daughter who was now 18 months old. One night, my husband and I went to a local restaurant for dinner. It had been a while since we had some quiet time…at least since we had our daughter. Our waitress came to the table and asked us if we would like anything to drink.
I looked at her shirt and noticed this 6 inch photo button. I was in awe from the beginning. It was a picture of a little girl in an adorable cheerleading outfit. I thought to myself that it was so adorable, and me being a new mom to a little girl, I had to know where she got the picture done. I wanted one of my own of my little girl; we will call her Sharlie. I was already picturing Sharlie posing in one of those little outfits. After all, at this time in history, it was all about finding a photography studio that would do different types of photos and not just the generic scenes every kid was posed in…sitting with a back drop in their Sunday best trying to get them to smile for just one good picture. Phones with camera capabilities…what is that? Haha.
I think my husband thought I was crazy when I started a conversation with her about the button and where she had it taken. She told me that it wasn’t a photo taken for fun, that her daughter was actually a cheerleader. Wait…what?! I was shocked. Where on earth could a little girl, around 5 years old, do cheerleading. She said that her daughter was actually 7 years old and that she cheered for Pop Warner. Pop…who? What town is that in? I didn’t know much about cheerleading or cheerleaders, except for the fact that I made fun of them in high school.
She went on to tell me that it was a local youth program. I was shocked and confused. I grew up around here, why hadn’t I heard about this before? She said that the teams start at 7 years old and range to 15 years old. Not only that, but they actually cheer for football players of the same age.
I would have never known about this aspect, as I wasn’t a cheerleader myself. Now, after having a daughter, I wanted to know all about it. I wanted a button of her. I NEEDED that button. She gave me the information about the program, but reminded me that Sharlie needed to be 7 to start.
I thought to myself…cheerleading though? I think not! Like I said earlier, the only experience I had with cheerleading was when my friends and I would make fun of them. There was no way my child was going to be a cheerleader…but I had to have that freaking button! My daughter was still so young, I knew I had a waiting game ahead of me.
I waited and planned. Six years later…6 years of waiting to get my little one on a button. It felt like an eternity. That year, I took her down to the local sign-ups. I didn’t care if she wanted to cheer or not, I just wanted the button. I figured if she didn’t want to continue after I got my button, I would take her out of the program. I wouldn’t force her to do anything she didn’t want to do.
All I kept thinking was: BUTTON, BUTTON, MOM WANTS A BUTTON!!!
Little did I know, this would start a huge chain of events that changed mine and my daughter’s lives forever. It started a 25-plus year cheer career for both her and I. That’s a whole other story. Stay tuned for the next part in the saga…Year 1.