This is one of my favorite pictures of Becky and I. It was taken on Mother's Day 2003 at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania: our first big "travel" comp.
I look into these faces and see joy in Becky's. I was full of joy too but I was tired after working a full-time job, 40+ hours a week as a reporter then convoying with several other families to Hershey Park, leaving Massachusetts at 1 am to get through traffic.
I was sleep-deprived for about five years, but wouldn't let on so that we could live the Allstar life. I know the laundry never seemed to get finished.
This picture was taken at the last competition of that season, her third in Allstars and the one when we grew very close because of it. Going to comps every weekend, sharing carpools back and fourth to practice three times a week, we had developed a special bond that most of my friends did not share with their daughters. She called me her best-friend and would continue to do so through her teens.
Despite the bags under my eyes, this was a very happy Mother's Day. But as the mom of three, including a toddler, who worked full-time, and thought she had to volunteer to be every Team Parent, Homeroom parent, Co-Brownie-Leader, Co-Den-Mother for Cubscouts, CCD teacher besides trying to be the perfect wife, I look tired.
But I tried not to let it show.
I'm in full cheer mom regalia -take a closer look-I'm wearing a bobble-star-headband; the shirt that caused everyone to call me "Becky" because it read "Becky's Mom" (I don't understand why either, but it happened); and a button proclaiming my pride in being a cheer MOM.
Not only was this our first overnight travel comp, it was also the first time I left my two younger children behind. John was six, Rachel was two-and-a-half. It was an extra special "Mommy-Becky" weekend, that I treasure to this day, but it was also the time when I promised myself that I would never leave the other two kids behind again (kinda, sorta, happened).
My automatic reply when someone asked me "How are you?" during this time was "It's a very busy time of life."
I was married then, would continue to be for exactly ten more years. Becky's father did not like Allstars-too much: money, time, precious resources-wasted. He went to one competition a year-the one in our hometown. He just didn't get it. So I overcompensated by staying up late making the "Care Packages" for send-offs or arranging for special team bonding events. I got so immersed into being a Team Mom that when I made or bought something special just for Becky, her teammates would ask "where's mine?"
Years later, both my daughters (Rachel started Allstars as a tiny the next year) told me that they wished I wasn't the "Team Mom," etc. because I spent more time "doing" for the team, ushering their teammates to and from the bathroom, my tackle-box full of pins, bandaids, bobbypins, wipes and other necesary items should the need arise. My girls told me they just wanted their mom to be their for them.
While writing this blog post, Becky called to wish me a "Happy Mother's Day" and we started talking about this era in our lives, some 20 years ago.
She said she didn't really remember this comp, except that "I was sitting at awards and I remember they announced that it was Mother's Day. I had no idea," Becky said today.
In any case, something motivated her to borrow money from me (something else we mothers are always doing) after she had gone to one of the vendors who was smart enough to stock up on Mother's Day items. When she came back she handed me the small brown bag (with zebra stripes as I recall), inside was a silver bracelet with heart charms that read "Best Mom Ever," "#1 Mom" and similar sentiments.
It's one of my most treasured gifts and I wear the bracelet she bought me at that comp on every Mother's Day (and seen in photo above).
Moms (sorry Dad's this is Mother's Day), especially cheer moms, are incredible. We put our children first, before our own needs, as do all moms. In today's world (pre-pandemic) being a mom includes helping our kids find out what they are good at and what they enjoy, in protected, adult chaperoned safety. Knowing this, a few weeks ago I asked CheerMAD readers to share their photos and a bit about them. These three moms are a great representation of the overall CheerMAD experience and they will receive a special gift from CheerMAD for their efforts.
And to the rest of us, a very happy, Happy Mother's Day!
Ginger Boisvert Squires
When I’m not being a cheer mom I am a realtor and a mom to three beautiful girls. Unfortunately this last year season was cut short and it was the final year for my graduating senior. My cheer mom hat is officially retired and I’m so sad.
I am a wife of 23 years to my best friend, and the mother of the most amazing 3 kids on the planet. This was just a rare shot of me alone. Though I LOVE some ME time, absolutely nothing makes me feel more empowered than seeing my kids succeed, and know I had a little something to do with it.
Connie is a Lieutenant Commander Retired and a grandmother. I have four children, 28, 26, 14 and 5. My older children both followed in my footsteps and joined the Navy as Surface Warfare Officers (like me) however, they too were cheerleaders when they were younger. My younger 2 are both cheerleaders (Level 6 and Level 1.1 Prep).