My mom is a cheerleader.
i heard stories about her cheering when she was in school.
i witnessed her cheer for my sisters' track meets, soccer and basketball games when i was growing up.
And she cheered for me and my teams during my games.
Maybe every insecure junior higher thinks her parent is the loudest cheerer in the stadium...
But i heard my mom cheer louder than every other person out there.
Even louder than the coach.
And i needed those shouts of encouragement.
In my adolesent ultra-awareness i feared that my mom's cheering would draw attention to the fact that i hadn't started the game, or that i wasn't the fastest runner, or the most confident player.
When i wanted to disappear after dropping a pass or missing a shot my presence was illuminated by emphatic cheers to shake it off and reassuring encouragement that i'd get it the next time.
My mom's cheering left no place for me to hang my head and hide.
Her cheering opened up all the space i needed to try again,
until i got better.
Maybe i never became the best player on the team, but i pushed forward to achieve my goals and realize that improvement in itself was a challenge worth pursuing.
i didn't know it then, but i needed my mom to cheer the loudest,
because i felt the smallest.
My mom's cheering was an undeniable sign that she thought more of me than i was convinced was there.
It proved to me that she saw value in me when i couldn't see it.
i needed a fan.
i needed a cheerleader.
i needed my mom.
And i still do.
She now cheers for me as a wife and mother and just for being me.
And when i feel like i'm failing as a mom, or struggling as a wife, or just not so sure of myself in general...
my mom is my cheerleader.
"Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women are capable, but you surpass them all! ” Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised." Proverbs 31:28-30