Growing up, my parents always made sure I participated in all types of activities. I played soccer, basketball, ran track, and I even had a short stint as a cheerleader for the Valley Stream Green Hornets.
I was in second grade.
My father and his brothers all played football for the Valley Stream Green Hornets. My aunt was a Valley Stream Green Hornet cheerleader. My grandmother used to be very active in the Valley Stream Green Hornet community. It was only natural to join the squad.
I was so excited to cheer on the sidelines. I can still remember the cheers to this day. I rarely paid attention to the game. I was just excited to wear a cute outfit (uh, circa 1960).
I was even more excited to show it off. In second grade, my teacher (who used to be a nun before becoming a public school teacher) used to have a show and tell session every Friday. One or two students would stand up in front of the class room and show and tell something “cool”.
It usually consisted of the following:
“Here is my pet frog, Froggy. He hops around a lot.”
“I can juggle.”
“I can do a split.”
“I have a dog.”
“I can sneeze three times in a row.”
“I went to summer camp and went in the lake.”
I mean, it was only second grade. What do you expect?
I thought long and hard about what would be my special item for show and tell. A lightbulb went off in my head!
I will perform a cheer!
This would be epic. I would show a cheer and everyone would be impressed and be like, “Oh my gosh! You’re a cheerleader? Sooooooo cool.”
It was Friday. It was time. I woke up, dressed in my 1960’s Valley Stream Green Hornet cheerleading uniform and went to school. I was shaking with excitement. I had practiced the cheer in front of my parents and they were impressed. This could be my life calling. I could be a professional cheerleader one day. This is the first step on the path to success.
My teacher called my name. “Kristine, it is your turn for show and tell! Come to the front of the room.”
I skipped to the front of the room and started my cheer. It was a difficult one, but I nailed it!
My teacher said, “Great job, Kristine. Why don’t you tell us about your cheerleading experience.”
I started to ramble about how I come from a long line of Green Hornets, and my grandmother comes to watch every game, blah blah.
And then the finale.
“I’m wearing GREEN BLOOMERS!” and I lifted my skirt for the entire class to see my green cheerleading underwear.
Yeah. So that happened…
That was the first and last time I was allowed to participate in show and tell.