A pageant? Really? Like dressed up, parade around stage, fancy dresses, judged on your appearances? So not my scene. I might even be morally opposed to beauty pageants on a fundamental level, and maybe a bit afraid that my inborn stage-mom tendencies would turn me into one of those crazy reality-show pageant moms.
So I talked to a few moms in my community, and they assured me it wasn't a beauty pageant, that it was judged more on talent and poise and interviewing skills. They told me it would be a chance for her to serve our community. Then Ashlynn begged more. For months on end. And my husband pointed out how we encourage Abby to be on stage all the time and it would be good for Ashlynn to do something just for her. And then I thought about how fun it would be for her to be in parades, be on stage, make friends, represent our small-town community, etc... So we took a deep breath and jumped in with both feet.
The last few weeks have been filled with practices, talent routines, discussions about modeling and on-stage interviews, and a giddy 9-year old bouncing off the walls with excitement about the pageant. I kept wondering what in the world I'd gotten myself into.
But Ashlynn loved every minute of it. She absolutely lit up and shined on stage. The first time I saw her do her cute Harry Potter monologue that introduced her piano piece, tears sprung to my eyes as I thought, "Wow. That's my kid. And she's pretty stinking amazing!"
The pageant was on Saturday, and the days leading up to in and the day of were absolutely insane. Saturday morning at 6:40am found me hauling down the mountain in the blizzard to judge violin federation. (Stupid snow, grumble grumble....) I got back just in time to re-curl Ashlynn's hair, put makeup on her and run back over to the pageant.
After all the talent-ing, the makeup, the glitter, (I got in extra trouble for putting glitter in her hair because all the girls are supposed to look the same in the opening number, don't you know,) she was sitting in the chair next to me, bouncing off the walls, waiting for her name to be called as part of the royalty.
And call her name they did.
What I've learned in the past few days is that this isn't just your average beauty pageant. These five girls will be representing our small mountain community for the next year with tv appearances, community service projects at least monthly, performances, and a huge commitment for the community celebrations that happen around here every Labor Day and Christmas. I don't think I realized quite the crazy we signed up for until I was talking to one of the moms of the outgoing royalty, and she showed me the bag she carries everywhere complete with butt-glue (did you know there was such a thing?!), false eyelashes, multiple costumes and at least two curling irons.
So deep breaths. She is going to love every bit of it. I'm going to hold on for the ride, and pray for on-time carpools, good hair stylists, and moms that know more about the mysteries of butt glue than I do!