About Me

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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I'm Cheering for Cheering!

During March, I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. I go back and forth between this blog and the blog that I share with Melanie Swider, tworeflectiveteachers.blogspot.com, depending on whether my post is personal or education-related. Bloggers from around the world are posting daily, committed to the practice of sharing, reflecting, remembering...writing! Feel free to stop by this incredible March happening and check out other posts or even join in--there's no rule that says you have to start on March 1st!

Last night, I was so proud of my daughters, and my pride came not from what they were doing, but rather, from how they were doing it. Julia is a sophomore and she was the last player to be called up to the varsity basketball team in time for the post-season tournament. For those of you who don't know, that comes with the glory of a team uniform, the responsibility of continued intense practices, and the more dubious honor of sitting on the bench, usually for the whole game. Last night, the game was close, and Julia watched the whole thing. I was worried when she got in the car; she is used to playing in her games, feeling important on the field or court. When she settled into the back seat, she emoted about who had played well, how Cheray had stepped up her game, how Bridget had shut down the other team's star player, how Sophie had gotten her shot back after some beginning jitters. Julia had no resentment, and shared the note that her coach had passed to her at the beginning of the game where he acknowledged her importance as a member of the team. 

Across the hall from the gym, The Sound of Music was going on in the auditorium, a play that Larkin auditioned for. Forgive me as I am going to sound bitter for a minute, but Larkin was the senior who was cast as Sophia the nun and decided to pass up the part. (Unless you are extremely familiar with The Sound of Music, you are asking who is Sophia. So were we.) Larkin has been in plays all of her life, literally. She has almost always been a lead and has even acted professionally at local theaters and off-Broadway. When the cast list was posted, I'm not going to lie, it was devastating to her since who doesn't want to have a good part in the high school musical when they're a senior? Some of the explanations given for the decision are long stories and not what this post is about, but the background just lets you know how proud I was that she went to the play. She was honest and clear with me that going was hard, she only stayed until intermission, but she went, and I don't think that any of her friends had any idea of how hard that was for her. I did.

Sometimes, life is about cheering and not about being the star. It's about figuring out who to follow and not leading. It's about how to support people and honor them and step back away from the spotlights. I love to cheer for my girls when they are doing great things, but last night, I was cheering for them for cheering for others. 

Happy 9th day of slicing, everyone! Isn't it amazing how differently we live, watch, and remember when we are slicing?


  1. You are doing something right. Go mom! Go girls!

  2. "Sometimes, life is about cheering and not about being the star."
    That's a series of life lessons that we teach our children from the very start - and you never really know how much of it they have internalized until moments such as the two you shared. Bravo kids, bravo mom and dad.

  3. Wonderfully written and an important point for children and parents. We have success and failure and we need to know how to handle both. Sometimes it's on the sidelines and sometimes as the star. Good job mom. You should be so proud.

  4. Melanie,

    This is a keeper...and one I will share...many times...

    Your daughters made incredible (and brave) choices.


  5. I understand why your are so proud, Melanie. I would be too. It's something I guess we all need to learn, but sometimes so so hard. Your daughters sound like wonderfully thoughtful young women who are figuring out things that will be helpful in their lives. I'm glad you shared with us.

  6. You have so much to be proud of, Melanie. Your daughters understand how important it is to cheer others on, even when it's hard. That is no small feat!

    May I feature this slice of life as one of the "be inspired" ones in my daily call for sol stories? Please lmk via e-mail stacey{at}staceyshubitz{dot}com. THANKS!

  7. Julia and Larkin both responded to these situations with grace and maturity. They have learned "how to support people and honor them and step back from the spotlights" from you, and you have every reason to be proud, Melanie.

  8. I love the way you have put this into words and your examples confirm the character qualities of your daughters. I wrote of similar feelings a month or so ago when one of our children wasn't chosen for something that meant a lot to him. It's so hard to sit by and quietly watch and encourage them, without bringing out the Momma Claws but so rewarding to see them come through the better person on the other end. That's always the goal.

  9. "Sometimes life is about cheering. . . ". This entire paragraph was lovely, and so true to life, something we can all take with us as a reminder. hank you.

  10. Sometimes life indeed is cheering about not being a star. Your girls showed grace.