By Ethel Gould
On some evenings “aaahhhHHH GOULDS!!!!" (CLAP) can be heard reverberating off the dining room walls in our home, followed by squeals of laughter from my children. Even my 14 month old son, Travis, knows how to ball his little hands together into fists, touch them to the fists of his siblings around the dinning room table, and then quietly (at first) say “aaahhhHHH GOULDS!!!!” ending in a loud shout accompanied with an energetic, simultaneous clap.
I don’t remember how or when we first instituted this home-grown cheer, only that there
are very few things in my children’s lives that give them as much delight as it together as a family around our dining room table. Although some dinnertime visitors might think our family tradition silly, I know differently. Looking at the joy in my children’s eyes as we all share in our family cheer, I can tell they have a sense of belonging. They know who they are, a Gould, and they know we are excited they are apart of our Gould family. My daughter, Maddie, begs, “Again, again, can we do it again? Pleeeaase?”
“With Sugar on top!!” adds my son Austin, as if the extra sweetness will seal the deal. The risk of losing total control of our dinning room table is overcome by the desire to “give in” to our kid’s wish for one more ‘Go Team!’ How can we resist? After all, my children are learning that family loyalty and fun are highly valued for a Gould – that they are loved, not because of anything they’ve done, but just because they are a part of our family. They are important and valuable, chosen by God to be a Gould.
How many families do you know who put their fists together around the dinning room table and excitedly cheer – just because they're part of their family. And why not? There are cheerleaders for just about every professional and high school sports team. All those teams accomplish is running back and forth across the field scoring points now and then. Families need all the cheering they can get — touchdown or not. I’m pretty sure my kids couldn’t articulate all the things their hearts are learning through our dinnertime cheer, but they don’t have to…the sparkle in their eyes say it all for this family tradition, “aaahhhHHH Goulds!!!!”