Unheard cheerleaders.

Yesterday in the car on the way to a friend’s house, I asked Big some more about the swimming gala. To be precise, I asked if she could hear ppl shouting for her when she was in the water. The gist of her answer was no – she was aware that there were some members of her team at the end of her lane waving her on, but she didn’t hear the shouts from the audience. She didn’t hear me. She didn’t know that through my tears (no, I don’t know why I was crying, it’s just something I do when I can’t control emotions any further) I was cheering her on, shouting her name, willing her to find that extra strength, that extra turn of speed, that extra centimetre of reach.

And it occurred to me that this is my place in her life. I am destined to be that unheard cheerleader, stuck in my place on the sidelines, making all the right noises at all the right times, but almost completely soundlessly as far as she is concerned.

She’d probably notice if I wasn’t there. She said it was great knowing that L and I were sat there, just for her. And she stopped on her way back to her seat with the team after her race, and asked why I was crying, so she knew that I’d been like that. “You don’t have to cry” she said, and L said “yes, she does.” Wisdom beyond her years that one.

I didn’t know this was part of the job description when I had children. I wonder if any of us would launch into it if we really knew what it entailed. How complex, terrifying, wonderful, liberating, frustrating, constricting, exhausting and exhilirating our lives become once a child is born.

And most of all, I wonder where my cheerleading role will take me. And whether I’ll ever be heard.

About Jax Blunt

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  1. Troop-rallying stuff there, Jax – nearly left ME crying…

  2. I think welling up with tears when our children are competing or performing is more common than you think! I get like that almost every time I see my two perform–and they’ve done it quite often! I could just burst with joy seeing them perform! But yes–whether they can see or hear us isn’t the important thing–but that they know we are rooting for them is. And of course we’d launch into having babies knowing all the emotions it’d bring up–or else there would be no siblings! 🙂

  3. She may not have heard you but she knew you & the others were there. My son is 35 & sometimes mentions the support I gave him years ago when I didn’t think he even knew. It goes in & stays – honest!
    Julia recently posted…The Wonders of WhitbyMy Profile

  4. so very true! Lovely post, and did you know it has been nominated as #blogpostofthemonth? Very deservedly. x :O)

  5. As long as you are seen…
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted…Dipping Apple In HoneyMy Profile

  6. Hugs Jax, was weeping by the end of this post x

    oh golly, a child only has to put one foot on a stage or sports field and I well up – it dosn’t even have to be my child!

    I used to wonder if Saurus ever noticed me on the sidelines at his football matches. Then his coach quite casually mentioned to Papacrow in passing once – ‘he always playes better when his mum is there’ !!!

    cry? I sobbed for weeks! (ok, slight exageration, but you know what I mean!
    mamacrow recently posted…Whistle while you work…My Profile

  7. She may not hear you but as Julia says, she knows you are there – security, love and support all in one bundle, she may not hear your cries for her now, but the vert fact you were there makes all the difference. xxx
    Linda recently posted…Win a snack and play travel trayMy Profile

  8. What a lovely post. I agree that just being there is enough. I’m also a cryer … (not a town cryer I should point out,) and so totally get how you feel! x

  9. As a daughter (a bit bigger than Big, but a child none the less) i can honestly say I wouldn’t be able to have had the courage to compete in the dance recitals and trampolining competitions in the past, or do the equally scary stuff I’ve done of late (ie moving to a new city and starting a big scary new job) if I didn’t know my parents were there, cheering me on in the background. The point is, it doesn’t matter if we can hear you, the point it you’re there. That’s what mums and dads sign up for and what us kiddies need. Trust me, we’d soon notice if you weren’t there and then we genuinely wouldn’t know what to do. You cheering for us, audibly, visably, or silently and inconspicuously is what makes us brave. And we’re so grateful. *wipes a little tear away*

  10. Just being there is enough. It is like an anchor and I miss m mum not being there

  11. A lovely post.This is one of things I am so looking forward to as Baby Badger grows up: being there to watch as she grows and finds her own interests, and becomes gradually more independent and confident. I think we do become more in the sidelines, but definitely would be missed if not there.

    As a teenager, I played in a lot of concerts across the country, and I always appreciated my parents being there, even if I couldn’t pick them out in the audience. In fact, I still hugely value them being there and their opinion on how well it went!
    Mother Badger recently posted…I’m so excited…My Profile

  12. Oh Jax, this is a gorgeous post. It’s so true that we are destined to be on the sidelines of their lives and that it’s being there that’s the important bit – the invisible love and security and support that being there gives and I suppose as parents we have to take comfort in that!
    Ella @ Notes from Home recently posted…The end of term and our decision to find a new schoolMy Profile

  13. Beautiful post. I cry at the slightest thing already, and my daughter’s only one! I just know I’m destined to be an unheard cheerleader for many years to come. Your point about your daughter noticing if you weren’t there is key; even if she can’t hear you, your support is invaluable.
    Rowen recently posted…Photographic MemoriesMy Profile

  14. *sniff sniff* My independent little Miss is only 20 months and i’m starting to feel sad that she doesn’t need me as much. I will always need my Mum, my beat friend, I hope Liv and I are the same

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