Cheering From the Sidelines {When There May Be Nothing to Cheer For}

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We waited anxiously for an email, a text message, a phone call – SOME sort of communication about our kids’ fall sports seasons. This was the first one with COVID-19 in play, and the referee hadn’t made a call yet on whether or not COVID would be the winner.

No matter which decision won, I knew I had to be a cheerleader for my kids.

I was never a cheerleader in school but was active in other activities like marching band and softball. Those activities meant the world to me when I was younger. I remember the feeling when one game or competition couldn’t happen due to weather conditions or another event outside of my control. I couldn’t imagine how I would’ve reacted if I was told I couldn’t participate in an entire season.

Unfortunately, that’s what many kids are facing today. An uncertainty of knowing when their season will happen, if one at all, and if they have started playing, if they’ll be able to continue throughout the entire season.

But this is where we as moms get to be that cheerleader.

Let’s be a cheerleader for our kids. Let’s tell them no matter what, it’s ok. Yes, it’s not fair. It’s not fair that this might be the senior season for some kids who won’t continue to participate in their activity beyond high school. At the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s not fair for the child who was looking forward to their first season of an activity. And for kids in between, it’s not fair that they don’t get to continue practicing and participating in an activity they love. It’s not fair – and we need to be able to empathize with our child no matter how they’re feeling.

Let’s be a cheerleader for the coaches and adults leading activities. Just as this is hard for the kids, it’s as hard for the adults. Many have no control over the outcome of activities and even if they do, there are positives and negatives if a season is held or not. They are also the face of trying to answer questions that they probably don’t have the answers to. They wish they had answers and could promise a season for the kids, but that’s not something they can do. There’s no playbook or trick play showing how to defeat COVID-19.

Let’s be a cheerleader for knowing even if activities don’t happen this fall, organizers are making decisions out of safety for our kids. We don’t want to put our kids in danger, and organizers understand this decision. While there are state and local mandates in play, at the end, the decisions they’re making are ones they feel keep kids safe.

Let’s be a cheerleader for what’s ahead. We can still hold onto hope that things may be back to “normal” one day, whenever that may be. And when that does happen, one thing that will still be there will be the activities kids participate in. It may look a little different, and it may not happen this fall, but there will still be a way for kids to come together and participate in activities they love. 

So let’s be a cheerleader, even when it seems there is nothing to cheer for. Kids will lead by our examples and if we can show them that there is a reason to stay positive, we will all get through this together easier.

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