I am going to try to post this without sounding like I am preaching. Since I always sound like I am preaching my goal may be a little hard to obtain (no laughing). Emily does such amazing charity work and maintains a great grade point average in school so very rarely does she confront opposition to her hobbies. I also rarely hear comments in regards to her............(drum roll) pageants. However I do greet the occasional side glare or the occasional non returned email. I normally laugh these situations off and chalk it up their to failure to understand or a lack of caring if they do. However I have heard a faint whisper in regards to her competitions and my nationals.
When Emily was 17 months old I entered her into her first pageant at the coaxing of a family member. I bought her a beautiful cream brocade dress with a tiny cream beret. I didn't put one ounce of makeup on her and her dress was not laced in rhinestones. I took her up in front of the judges and she giggled, waved, and pranced about. She looked like a little doll with her big cheeks and adorable grin. I knew from the moment they placed that first crown on her tiny head........I was in trouble. Emily continued to do pageants while she was little until it all became to much for me. Keeping up with the pictures, clothes, and more became overwhelming. So we dropped out...............with major opposition from Emily.
So at five years old I enrolled Emily into softball and she excelled. Then Emily found theater and the stage again and she found her calling. The performing arts department at her current school district has been deemed the best in the state. Emily held the first 6th grade lead in her UIL play............she loved the stage. However..........from the time I enrolled her in softball until the time she transitioned into theater she constantly asked to return to pageants. I continued to refuse because I didn't want Emily to get the wrong mindset about life. However, I fondly remembered our pageant days together. They were an amazing mother daughter bonding time. Also, when we were confronted with Jude's situation I realized that we couldn't afford to send Emily into lessons or pageantry. Then one afternoon I received an email from Cara who owned a national system. She offered to allow Emily to attend her system (this was years ago). I felt obligated to tell Emily and Em was so excited so I gratefully allowed her to attend. Emily ............. flourished. I honestly and truly felt ashamed.....I had kept her from something she loved so much. So from that point I vowed to follow what Emily wanted to do with my conservative rules (lol).
We got back into the pageant scene but I only allowed Emily to have natural photo's. We enlisted the help of two amazing friends that helped with her coaching, hair/makeup, and upheld our traditional values. They also stepped in and reminded me "mom she is 13 not 7". Emily is an amazing role model and I will always stand by that. We all watch these reality TV shows that feature the occasional sane rational beautiful mom, but mostly focus on the prize selling blue ribbon crazies. Whether it's pageants, dance, cheer or relationships these shows focus on the best "sellers" so please remember that. They may be true in some aspects, but not most. They edit to no end and search out the very "aspects" of best ratings. We in the pageant community shake our heads at the EXACT same things you do. So before you make your mind up about mine and Em's AMAZING pageant friends who have the best hearts and are charity driven I encourage you to attend an event. I invited some friends and family members to my pageant Regal Princess last year and they all left saying "wow, that was SO fun and the kids are adorable! It's not what I expected". Come on over! You have an open invitation to come to my nationals in August or any other system Em attends! Come see kids have fun, enjoy themselves, make lasting friendships, and laugh!
Emily CHOSE this hobby........and I support my daughter and I am proud of my beautiful kind hearted girl. I help her with the necessary tools to succeed whether that's in school, pageants, softball, or theater. She is the epitome of a role model and I strive to offer a system that is equivalent to what she stands for so others can compete. I have no tolerance in my old age for prejudice opinions and I like that I have grown so much.
Now with that being said..........Jude is doing better. I should give him more credit. Emily needed antibiotics to get over her sickness......but (knock on wood) Jude is fever free without any. I took him for a walk tonight, read him his "Good Night Gorilla" and hooked his feeding up without any issues. His tiny eyes drifted off to sleep as I said " and the mouse said ...good night Gorilla and the Gorilla said zzzzzzzzzzzz" and a tiny crooked smile fell upon his sleepy face. My tiny stroke victim is such a miracle.