Cheer sisters! Β Letter to Calysta

Since the day Emily was born, I have been responsible for her. 

“Normally” parents guide and help their little ones learn and grow than slowly watch them fly on their own. 

In our world the guiding and helping will most likely be a life long task of mine and I am at peace with that.   

It’s almost automatic now for me to ask clarifying questions and reach out to understand what’s expected of Emily so I can familiarize myself with it than help Emily learn, understand, practice or whatever else it is she needs to do. 

This past year I failed to ask questions and understand what “cheer sisters” meant. 😒

At Emily’s first showcase ever, she was assigned Calysta as a cheer sister. 

Dear Calysta, 

I owe you an apology for not realizing this was a season long sisterhood. I didn’t ask questions and I failed both you and Emily in the process but you didn’t give up on my girl. 

I remember seeing you around, you provided encouragements and you cheered for Emily even when she didn’t quite do the same for you. 

See, I should have written down your name and taken a pictures of you two together. It would have helped Emily remember who her cheer sister was. I should have talked to Emily about you and encourage her to talk to you at the gym instead of putting all of it on you.

I promise you that I will be better at this. 

I will be better because you didn’t give up on Emily. 

On Saturday, after her performance, you walked on that mat and gave Emily  a flower. Emily said thanks and walked away. You must have hoped for a little bit more from Emily but that’s all you got. 

Again, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know. 

But on Saturday, I really saw you and I wondered why you showed so much kindness to Emily. 

Later, I saw your dad’s Facebook post about Emily’s performance, stating that she was your cheer sister and it all made sense. 

Thank you Calysta for not giving up on Emily. 

Thank you for your encouragements and kindness. 

You are a wonderful young lady and Emily loved your flower!

It made the trip home with us and although Emily didn’t know who you were and why you gave her a flower, she was touched in her own way. 

I will talk to Emily about you and hopefully next time we see you, she will say hello and slowly, she will learn your name. 

Another Cheer competition!

This weekend, we, once again, did something new.

Friday, I packed our suitcases and we were on the road as soon as Jon was done work.

On Saturday, Emily’s cheer team was performing at the NB Provincial cheer competition.

We drove for almost 3 hours to make it to our home away from home for the weekend.

Look at my cheerleader!  She looks like a typical teenager!

Make-up time in the stands!

All dolled-up

Emily and her team did amazing.

They were the last team to go and by that time, I would say that the 800 or so cheerleaders competing plus their parents and families were back in the Civic Centre.

It was, after all, almost award time.

The place was packed and it scared me.

All day, I watched as cheerleaders and family from the gym of the competing team sat on the floor in front of the mat and cheered for their friends.  You can see the people sitting on the floor in the picture below.  That space is specifically saved for team mates and after each performance, everybody gets up and moved away while another group moves in.

It’s all really civilized.

As we approached 5:15pm, I grew nervous.

Will the other cheerleaders from our gym sit on the floor for our little team?

Will the crowd cheer for our girls?

I wanted to believe that they would but it scared me to think that maybe it wouldn’t happen.

I worry about things like that all the time.

Yesterday, I sat on the cement floor, took a deep breath, opened my eyes and witnessed a sea of purple cheerleaders filling the space around us!

And by a sea of purple, I mean, there had to be at least a hundred of them.

The space reserved for coaches on the floor could have been emptied because our coaches are on the mat with their team but the other coaches from our club sat there.

It was overwhelming to see all this support for our little team.

The music started and I couldn’t take my eyes off of Emily so I really didn’t know how the other did until I saw a video of their performance last night.

The girls did amazing but what made me tear up (again) was the crowd.

The crowd was cheering and clapping.

The girls were beaming!

At the end of their performance, they were all so proud of themselves, they were hugging each other and than something else happened…  On the video you clearly see a sea of purple cheerleaders jump on the mat and celebrate with our girls.

This, I never allowed myself to imagine happening to Emily.  My socially awkward girl was celebrating and accepting congratulations from other cheerleaders.

Emily and the other girls on the Pillars have developed friendships and we (the parents) are getting to know each other and becoming friends too but yesterday, it was so much bigger than the Pillars, yesterday, Emily was part of the Olympia Allstar Cheerleading Family

This doesn’t just happens!

It starts at the top with great ownership, this reflects on great coaches and it is passed to all the athletes.  They all see The Pillars as one of their teams. A team that doesn’t tumble and fly exactly like the other teams but they tumble, make pyramids and dance like nobody else!

They are The Pillars!

Version 2


You can follow our journey on Facebook: Lessons from my daughter

You can also find me on Twitter at @plebrass

And on Pinterest: Lessons from my Daughter

To find more about about Cri du Chat syndrome, visit: 5p- Society