Making it is exciting, not making it is disappointing but either way, the wait is excruciating. There's a tradition at The Princess' school when it comes to cheerleader try-outs. After the jumps have been jumped, the cheers have been cheered and the judges have tallied the scores but before the results have been posted, the senior girls go to the homes of the newest varsity squad's members and "kidnap" them for an evening of celebration and a sleep over. Bonding---girl style. This afternoon was try-outs, this evening was the wait. It was excruciating- for her, for me.
How do you encourage them without elevating their expectations? How do you prepare them for possible disappointment without dashing their hopes? You don't, you sit with them and wait.
We watched time crawl by. Any outside noise made us jump, it was hard not to position myself with a clear view of the driveway. And then I had to leave--a previous commitment that couldn't be dismissed. It was hard--leaving her there, to wait alone. This was the last time she'll try out for a high school cheer squad. It won't be the last time I can't be there when what lies ahead for her seems uncertain-- it's just the first step of letting go and letting her grow up.
P.S. The Princess was gone when I got back home. A text message later confirmed what I had hoped for her: "i made it!"