Saturday, March 15, 2008


Today Sunshine had a 2 1/2 hr. "Cheer leading clinic" for ages K-4th grade. She was so excited about it all week and when we got there she loved the t-shirt they gave her and then the teenage staff whisked her off the join the group. I had Bonuts and Babe with me too since DH is out of town in Las Vegas till Monday evening (attending a mission reunion of sorts), so we got ready to leave. But Bonuts threw a fit because she heard the girls chanting inside the gym and wanted to see what was going on. So we went inside to watch from the bleachers for awhile.

I expected to see Sunshine cheering away with all the moxie and confidence she usually has in dance class or during our home talent shows, but she was standing stock still with her little hands clenched at her sides, big tears welling up in her eyes in the middle of 150 or so little girls all jumping around. She looked so scared and alone. She didn't see us come in and I debated calling her over and giving her a pep talk or a reprimand. I watched for about 3 more minutes as the teenagers tried to get her to participate and she just shrunk further and further inside her shell. Finally she saw me and came over. She said that she was embarrassed and that she didn't know what they were talking about and that she had no friends there and that she didn't want to try something new in front of everyone. We said a little prayer asking for courage but she just wanted to go home. Meanwhile Bonuts is on the floor trying her darnedest to do the cheer routines. So I get up and try a few moves too and Babe joins in and we find a spot near the back where Sunshine can stand on the mat and we cheer behind her. Then a neighbor girl spots Sunshine and comes over to cheer by her. And a teenage staff member takes Sunshine under her wing and moves her up where she can see the big girls better and soon Momma is no longer necessary and Sunshine tells me we can go. Crises passed.

It reminded me of when I was her age and Mom and Dad signed me up for soccer. Which I sucked at, mainly because I had never played or practiced before so of course I had no talent at it. I remember just standing there crying and feeling all the same feelings that Sunshine explained to me today. My Dad told me that he had already paid for the practices and the uniform and the cleats so we would be coming every Saturdays for the next few months so I could either stand there and cry the whole time or start practicing and learn something. I remember him trying to reassure me by saying something like "Don't worry about how bad you are right now. People will just be all the more impressed when you finally get the hang of it because they'll know what hard work it was for you to learn." That theory of comparative progression has never held much interest for me. I hate doing anything in front of people that I haven't mastered.

I don't know why I expected Sunshine to be able to "suck it up" and eagerly enter a social situation where she knew no one and had no knowledge of what to expect just becuse she is 6! I felt such empathy for her when I realized that I was asking her to do something that most of us adults still struggle with. We just have better coping and camouflaging techniques so that no one knows how scared and nervous and insecure we really are. One of DH's favorite sayings is to "Face Your Fears." Sunshine did that today and by the end of the event was very proud of herself. I was proud of her too. She teaches me so much.

On another note, I am up for a 1 yr. full time Acting teacher position at BYU. I should find out within the next few days if I have been chosen or not. DH and I have very mixed emotions about the whole situation - so we'll see how it all falls out...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Week's Quotes

Bonuts, after a hard day at PreSchool. Dh asks her what would make her feel better. She tearfully replies "I want to ride my bike... to MEXICO!... and get some beans and rice." We figure out that Mexico is code for the Mexican restaurant down the street. She gets her wish and is sated.

Sunshine,in an attempt to cheer me up on Tuesday when I has sick with a stomach flu and even missed a show because I couldn't control my bowels. "Some men might not think you're the most beautiful woman in the world, but I do." And as an afterthought, "I'm talking about those men that all ready have wives."
Glad for the clarification. If those men weren't married, I'd be the fantasy of every man I guess.

And a sweet gesture combined with sweet words from Babe with his growing vocabulary. Also trying to comfort me as I lay face down in bed under a pile of heating blankets, shivering, "From me... To you... Here you go." And he gently placed a pile of yellow posty notes next to my face and stroked my hair. What a sweet little man at age two, concerned about his Mama.