And Then There Were Cheer Dads…
You see them at the competitions.
They may have crazy hair, or painted faces, or crazy clothes.
They scream and yell, and dance around.
They are Cheer Dads, which I suppose makes them just a little bit crazy, right? Nah, not really.
Let me tell you a little something.
It’s not about being crazy.
It’s not about seeking attention.
It is all about love.
I am a Cheer Dad, but more importantly- I am a Dad. Period. I love and support my kids in all of their dreams and endeavors. I do my best to be with my kids for every step of their journeys. I know that if I blink, they will be five years older. I do not want to miss a single second. I love being able to see them grow, watch them succeed, and watch them fail. I share in their happiness and joy, as well as their sorrow and disappointment.
Our cheer gym is like a huge family. I love everybody there, and the athletes blow me away every day. The bonds created are second to none. I love the joy I feel in watching them grow closer together, working hard, and helping each other meet their goals. Even on a not-so-good day, they lift each others’ spirits. I can’t stress enough how proud I am to be part of the whole cheer experience.
At one particular competition, my daughter said, “you didn’t put a bow in your hair!”
Yes, my hair is quite long, and I’ve been known to let my daughter put a bow on me from time to time. So sue me.
I unfortunately did not have a bow. You know, when you leave the house at 6:30 AM, it can be easy to forget things.
Next thing I know, I am sitting in the audience with three cheerleaders putting different bows in my hair. Then there were four cheerleaders pulling and tugging on my hair. Then five. Then I hear, “let’s give him a bump!”
So this eventually drew a lot of attention, and I now had eight cheerleaders giggling and laughing, and pulling and twisting, and (gulp) ratting out my hair. People walked by, stopped and watched the show.
Yes, this is happening. Yes, I’m letting this happen. Yes, I look ridiculous. Thanks for stopping by. Sure, you can take a picture.
These girls put my head through a good amount of pain, but their happiness and joy made it worthwhile, for I am brave, like Dauntless. If I can help ease some tension on comp day, I will do whatever I can, for I am selfless, like Abnegation. They always make me happy, so I love making them happy in return. And I promise, from here on, no more Divergent jokes.
Yes, I had a cheer bow, and a cheer bump. Yes, strangers pointed and took pictures. Yes, I looked silly, but I love my kids and I will do anything to make them smile. After all, the world needs more smiles.
On this day, my daughter won a very prestigious award. On that stage, she thanked me, and mentioned my awesome cheer hair. I was running around, crying like a baby and looking like a fool, but I didn’t care. I was so overwhelmed with so much emotion at that moment. I love my kids, and I will shout it from every rooftop! I will do anything I can for them.
I was at a competition this past weekend. I noticed a large man with a hot pink mohawk, and a hot pink pom-pom sticking out of his pocket. I went up to him and told him how awesome it was for him to show spirit like that. He told me he would do anything to support his daughter and her team, and he is not afraid to do crazy things. You see, we don’t do these things because WE want to, we do these things because our kids WANT us to.
There is an unspoken camaraderie amongst cheer dads. We notice each other at competitions. We give each other a nod, or maybe a handshake. We love that there are others like us, that are not afraid to go the extra mile to show our love and support for our kids and their teams.
I’ve been noticing more dads at competitions lately, which makes me happy. I never understood why there aren’t more of us out there. I am glad that is changing, slowly but surely. We are out there, and we are secretly plotting the eventual take-over of the Mom Zone. Oh yes, this will happen. You have been warned.