Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oh what could it mean...

I may say this kind of thing almost every year, but I TRULY mean it this time- it couldn't have happened to a nicer girl. Sure she has model good looks, sure she'd involved in a lot of stuff, and sure she's popular and all that- but as long as I've known her, Kaitlyn has been accepting and friendly to all students no matter who they are (or how weird they are, frankly). She treats everyone the same. She's one of the hardest working students I know and she also happens to be one of the best artists in the school. She could be fooling me, I am pretty gullible, but I'm pretty sure that she's pretty well grounded and has a lot of character and integrity too.  I'm really happy for her and proud of her as her cheerleading coach. 

I'm also really proud of the students at Boyer Valley, not just for voting for her, but really, all six of the Senior guys and girls you voted in as candidates are basically great kids, not just popular or good looking. Well... maybe not that Sullivan kid that got King, he's kind of a scoundrel, or so I hear.- Just kidding.

This picture is of auctioneers selling a cheer shell (top, shirt, jersey, whatever you want to call it. Like many schools in Iowa, our school's Booster Club holds a "Jersey Auction" after Homecoming Coronation as a fund raiser for the athletics programs. As a major "blue" personality type, I feel very conflicted about it. Some kids parents own successful businesses, others are dirt poor. And some kids are successful athletes, attractive, popular, prominent in the community, confident and poised- whereas other kids are shy, insecure or otherwise on the social margins. But, it usually ends up being fun for most people and raises a lot of money, so far be it from me to buck tradition.

Kaitlyn is probably one of those kids my former mascot friend was referring to when he told me about kids who don't need mentoring nearly as much as other kids, but should still be mentored anyway. She has a strong stable family, a loving mom and step-dad and supportive extended family. She has a loyal network of friends. She's absolutely blessed with both brains and beauty.

I've never quite figured out if she's actually insecure- one of those people who don't realize how attractive they are, or if she's just modest or well grounded, because in the four years that I've known her, she's never been boy crazy, she's never dressed suggestively or (that I've been aware of) been involved in any illegal drugs or excessive alcohol. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't she?

In short, she doesn't seem like she needs mentoring. And unlike some kids, she hasn't really reached out to me like some other kids. Like I said, she's fantastic at drawing too. Yet we've never been especially close. I haven't pushed the issue because  I figure she's pretty well adjusted and therefore doesn't need mentoring.

Almost as soon as school started, she started working on locker decorations for football, volleyball, drill, cheer, and student council. What initiative! She's accepting and tolerant of all kinds of kids and has never been susceptible to melodrama. Respectful and patient, a dream to coach, right?

Still, I'm not sure she's as secure as one might think. Where others are assertive, she's deferential. Where some are engaging, she holds back. Mind you, I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, no one's life is as charmed as outsiders tend to think.

Kait and I may never connect on some deep, profound way, and that's okay. I hope she still  gained some things from cheerleading or from me.

I had a cheerleader a few years back who I always assumed was smart and strong and had it all together, so we never seemed to "bond" all that deeply or personally. Then out of what seemed like nowhere, after graduation, she came to my classroom after school to say goodbye. Underclassmen usually have school for another week or two after Seniors graduate (thanks to snow days). 

Maureen had also been yearbook editor (I'm advisor), but we still seemed to have each other at arms' length. She was smart, came off as confident, had lots of friends. Not what I ever thought of as needy. At any rate, at this farewell visit, she told me that in spite of having a biological dad and a step-dad, she really thought of me as a father figure, loved me and was gonna miss me. 

We corresponded quite a bit while she was in college in Long Beach to become a graphic designer. I haven't heard from Moe in a year or two since she moved back to Sioux City. I have this theory that she finally made it into the CIA like she always dreamed and can't write since she's undercover protecting national security somewhere.

To congratulate Kaitlyn, I searched for the Monkees' song "Oh what could it mean, for a daydream believer and a Homecoming Queen" on youtube and shared it with her on facebook. It made me feel bad that they didn't have facebook or youtube for all the previous cheerleaders who've become Homecoming Queen.

I was really proud of Xela, Christina, Randi, and Sasha (she actually got Prom Queen, not Homecoming- that was just last year. Xela is a mom in California and one of the biggest fans of my blog writing on politics and religion. Christina actually succeeded me as cheer coach at Los Angeles Lutheran High for a few years. I had the privilege of attending Randi's wedding just last summer after she'd graduated from college. All of them have turned out to be adults of great character, intelligence and merit- besides being beautiful women on top of it. I have not doubt that. 

I have no doubt that Kaitlyn will turn out okay too. I just have a feeling. Life may not always be as easy or fun as it is for her this week, but I expect that she'll do well in college and become an adult of great character, intelligence and merit- besides being so damn beautiful.

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