Thursday, March 11, 2010

The number of summer hours I spent at the pool with my kids is countless. “Mom, Mom, Mom,” continued not only until I looked in their direction, but had an interested, anticipating look on my face.

“Watch this. Watch me. You won’t believe it when you see what I can do,” continued until my eyes were locked in on them. After every jump, flip or splat into the pool, I cheered. Yeah! Unbelievable! Awesome! Possibly the best (fill in the trick) ever done! This could go on for hours.

Kids need a cheerleader. Actually, we never get to an age where we don’t need one. I’m reading a little book, Even Eagles Need A Push, about the importance of encouragement for everyone no matter their station in life. Whether someone makes the sale, closes the deal, fixes a five-star-worthy dinner, or brings home flowers, it’s a “Tah-Dah!” moment praise should be slathered on. It’s what pushes us on to try harder and repeat our efforts. It takes care of our built in desire for affirmation. Admit or not, we all need it.

Cheering for kids is easy. Maybe like me, it gets tricky for you in the grown-up world. Sincere excitement is easy for someone’s new home or car or job promotion. Good for them! Way to go! But when someone gets something I’ve been wanting and waiting on, my clap-o-meter all but quits. It’s through a forced smile I say, “How exciting!” “I know you are thrilled!” And the hardest one, “I’m so happy for you!”

I usually walk away mumbling about how it’s not fair. Each time I have to remind myself; right now they need a “Tah-Dah!” moment more than I do. Hope tells me my turn is coming.

If I really want to be a cheerleader, I need to get over myself, pull out the pom pons and start the handsprings ... regardless. Just like everything else, I’m sure it get’s easier with practice. While I’m waiting on easy, I guess it’s just best to consider everyone a kid needing a “that-a-girl” or a “way-to-go”.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
-Proverbs 14:30

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