I was a cheerleader in high school. Shocker, right? I was terrible at it. I was tall and awkward and couldn’t seem to lift my large body off the ground like the other girls could. While jumping wasn’t my forte, my enthusiastic personality and strong (very loud) voice landed me a spot on the squad. Each girl played a role on the squad. I was a base, which meant I had to lift and support the tiny girls into death-defying poses. Due to my stature, I never knew what it felt like to be lifted up or to stand atop a human pyramid.
That is, not until I joined a different squad many years later.
When I moved to Madison eight years ago, I was lonely and desperate to make friends. My new work friend, Betsy, told me….”Just wait. When you have kids, friends will pop out of the woodwork!” I couldn’t really grasp what she meant at the time. Why would having kids make meeting new friends easier?
Well, Betsy was right. As I’ve drifted through my thirties, the depth and richness of my relationships has blown me away. But, having children is only part of it. I think it’s more than simply entering into motherhood, but rather, passing into womanhood. Like the growing lines around our eyes, our relationships have stretched and grown through the years, evolving into an actual necessity; a vital part of our souls. We need each other. Having kids or not, life is hard! Jobs are hard. Marriage (and in-laws) are hard. Mortgages are hard. Kids are crazy, stupid hard! Yet, when someone falls, we swoop in and catch her, lifting her right back up to her place in the pyramid, with a toe-touch and sparkle fingers to boot.
My squad consists of many teams. My sister team. My high school team. My Kansas team. My Chicago team. My 3141 team. My Madison team. My Prairie Cafe team. My preschool mom team. But here we are. Lifting each other up and supporting one another through life’s crazy highs and lows. Taylor ain’t got nothing on us.
Sure, maybe we’ve traded our pleated skirts and white sneakers for yoga pants and sensible flats. But, I wouldn’t trade this time in my life, or this squad, for anything. #SquadGoals