I’ve never been a cheerleader kind of girl. The constant smiling, the ribbons, the gymnastics, the uniforms, the standing on the sidelines, the … well, everything about it freaks me out.
But there was always one cheerleader that gave me the boost I needed: my mother. Maybe it comes with the territory to be a natural cheerleader for your children (minus the ribbons and the gymnastics I hope), but I’ll argue that my mom was one of the best.
I thought about this today as I pulled my Yogi Tea out of the bag and read the message (there’s a different one on each tea bag): “Be proud of who you are.” I immediately pulled it off and stuck it on my dresser mirror, next to the photo of my mom and me. When I was in high school, I woke up one morning to find a quote my mom had stuck on my dresser mirror that said, “I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself.”
It was a good message for a 16-year-old girl, particularly one getting called a slut every day as she walked down the tiny halls of her high school. My mom’s lesson—cheer, rather—for me that morning has always stayed with me. And now, at 24, when she’s no longer here to stick messages on my dresser to give me the good kick in the ass I need to keep my confidence up, I’ve decided to be my own cheerleader.
So as I slid the tiny paper with the words “Be proud of who you are” under my dresser mirror’s frame this morning, I smiled at my mom’s image in our photo from the time when she was my cheerleader.
Somewhere, she smiled back.