It is true. I never was a cheerleader.
Sometime in junior high I decided I would try out. My sister dropped me off, shaking her head. My parents probably thought it was a little unusual, but kept their hands in their pockets. The others had probably encouraged my brother to keep his mouth shut. I don’t recall the details.
What I do remember is that the routines were not particularly difficult. The ladies in charge did not seem particularly nice. And, after one full day of being told to smile more, I had simply had enough. My cheeks hurt from smiling. Who smiles THAT much?
Well, a lot of the other girls seemed to manage it.
(I guess I don’t find standing on the sidelines something to smile about.)
The fact that I am not grinning from ear to ear on a minute-by-minute basis should not give the reader the idea that I am not happy. On the contrary, I am deliciously happy.
Just ask my daughter.
Andrew asked her the other day about her paper dolls. “Gladys, why do you always just put a straight line for their mouths?”
I could post hundreds of pictures of faces like these. This is how Gladys always draws faces.
About a year or more ago I noticed it myself. Not wanting to criticize her work, I asked her to draw a ‘happy face’ for me. Honestly, as a parent you start to wonder if there is something wrong. You know, some social worker is going to see her pictures and think she comes from a terribly depressing home.
She drew a circle with two eyes.
“See, Mommy! Doesn’t she have a beautiful smile?!”
“What do you use to smile, Gladys?”
“My eyes,” she said, squinting and sticking her fingers in her eyes.
Our Irish eyes are smiling.
Where do you keep your smile?