Thursday, January 26, 2012

cheerleading, teamwork and respect

from Particularly Perfect:

The spirit, joy and enthusiasm on the team is beyond contagious.  When they smile, you smile.  When they cheer, you cheer.  It is a team of kids with special needs...accompanied by "typical" middle and high school cheerleaders that work with the team because they want to.  Giving up an hour or two every week to practice.  Sending a message of acceptance to all of those around's a beautiful thing.  I am so grateful for the coach who opens the gym to our team and the kids that work with Kayla and her friends.

This past weekend was their first competition.  They were the first to take the floor...and the only team of athletes with special needs.

Go Wings!

When their routine was over and the crowd was moved to their feet {the one and only time that day}, I couldn't control the tears.  They were tears of happiness, of course.  Tears of pride.  Tears because my girl and her friends got the one thing that I want for her in life...RESPECT.  The crowd respected them.  The judges respected them.  The other cheerleaders respected them.

Sunday we delivered a message.  In a world of "typical" cheerleading squads...people with disabilities can compete, too.  People with disabilities can cheer, have fun, laugh...and just be "typical" kids.

They can be exactly who they were meant to be...perfect just the way they are.  I mean the end of the day does it really matter if you land a jump perfectly or dance right to the beat or remember every step of the routine?  Are those the things in life we remember from childhood?  No.  It's the memories.  The memories of having fun.   Life should be one big hot fudge sundae filled with scoops of happiness, drizzled with love, dollops of laughter and sprinkled with friendship.   But to me, the cherry on the top...the one thing that will make the sundae perfect...will always be respect.

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