I Can’t Do a Cartwheel, But I Can Spell

When I was in junior high I tried out for cheerleading. I should have talked myself out of it. Sometimes I let me do stupid things. I asked my current self, “What in the world were you thinking?”

I was just hoping for a miracle. More likely, I probably just wanted to be “something.” Those were the years when this late-bloomer felt fairly nonexistent. I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up and couldn’t do a cartwheel. I was doomed for life.

After trying out I remember the disappointment of finding my name missing from the list and trying to hide my tears. I had talked myself into believing I could do something that I clearly was not cut out to do. One good thing came out of it – I learned that contrary to popular belief, one cannot do anything they put their mind to, and that’s okay.

I would have excelled at one aspect of cheerleading – I am a good speller. I didn’t think about that way back then, but having watched two grandsons complete their (undefeated) JV football season, with the accompanying cheerleading squad, I am convinced that spelling is more important than backflips. Those girls have S-P-I-R-I-T! And those boys were A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E!

I informed my household (husband, sister, mother) that I was going to follow the example of the cheerleader. Even though I never mastered the splits or a cartwheel, I can spell; and they should expect more of it. If I could only recapture those days as a mom, I could have responded differently to the baffled look that kids give you. Instead of saying, “Do I have to spell it out for you,” I just would have.

The next night when it was time to eat, I simply chanted:

D-I-N–N-E-R – Dinner. Yeah, it’s time for dinner. Whoo!

In the middle of the table was a piping hot dish, straight from the oven:

Red hot – the food is red hot! The food is R-E-D H-O-T, red hot!

When we finished praying, “When I say ‘A,’ you say ‘men.’ A-men. A-men.”

I think football season ended just in time.

Stupor Bowl

When we watch a TV show from our DVR, we fast forward past the commercials. A half-hour show takes 22 minutes to watch, less if you go past the show’s opening and closing credits. It’s great.

I don’t know what we were thinking, though, when we decided to watch the Super Bowl that way. We set up to record as usual, and decided we would start the game at 6:30. Our family arrived just as the official botched the coin toss, which was one of the more interesting plays of the entire game. Then we watched the Seahawks score a safety and the Broncos collapse on the field never to be fully revived.

If that weren’t bad enough, we found ourselves faced with a dilemma – we didn’t want to fast forward past the commercials. They were the only saving grace of the night. On hind sight, we should have watched the commercials and fast forwarded past the game, but that seemed wrong.

Not quite a Seahawk, but a still a hawk

Not quite a Seahawk, but a still a hawk

Our granddaughter, Ella, who is eight, was surprisingly excited about watching the game. I never knew Ella cared about football, but she found in this game something to love. She was excited that her two favorite animals were playing – horses and birds. I think Ella will make an excellent wife one day with that kind of outlook.

So, to sum up the game, Seattle won by a lot. Denver lost its dignity. Birds beat horses. I think the Doritos Time Machine Commercial was the best.