One day a little while back,
 River came running through the backdoor handing me little pink slip of paper.

It was an invitation for her to participate in the first annual Little Miss Spanish Fork Contest.

And because her heart was set on it and also because of the encouragement from a certain school secretary
            (Thanks a lot Trisha)
River talked me into signing her up for the "Little Miss Contest."
I thought it would give me and my middle-child
some much needed mommy/daughter time.

I had some concerns though...

Concern number one...

 I didn't want to turn into one of those...


ya know...

And concern number two...

I didn't want to turn River into a big...


 ya know...  

And we all know it can happen very easily.

one minute we're here...
(sweet, loving, healthy mother/daughter relationship)

The next minute were here...
 (skip to 4:00 if you can't stomach the whole thing)

Riv and I attended all the workshops and practices with equal enthusiasm.
And after each event...we took ourselves out for lunch and discussed
how it really didn't matter if she won the title,
as long as we were having fun together.

River made lots of cute little friends.
Naturally the girls were too sweet and innocent to be catty or competitive with each other.
                               Thank goodness none of them were running around crying for their "ni-ni"!
 Right before the pageant started...the director handed out a goody bag to all the girls.
River was so happy, she was ready to pack it up and go home right then so she could play with her goody bag.
                However, the ultimate...coolest thing about the whole pageant for River was;
                           hobnobbing with the Beauty Pageant Celebrities.
                                                  River was totally starstruck...OK, I was too.
                              (Tiare Keeno, Utah's Miss Teen taught all the girls poise, posture and how to walk in outrageous heels...
                                                                                  ... I asked for a private lesson)
I think I overheard River asking Miss Spanish Fork to adopt her. It was as if River thought these girls were somehow prettier, younger and cooler than her dear old mom.  Can you imagine?

            And the beautiful Miss Spanish Fork 2010 Rebecca Johnson hung out backstage with all the little girls helping to calm their nerves...    (this one's for you fellas)
During the pageant, River was on and off the stage several times with a few wardrobe changes in between. I did wonder if there was something I was missing.
All the other mom's seemed like they had done this before.
 Forty girls and all their "handlers"crammed together in one small room with sequins and bobby pins flying and one large, hairspray cloud overhead.
I really had to pay attention to get Riv stage ready and not lose an eye. 
Actually, I'm teasing...everyone was very well-behaved.

River's talent was a "Calamity Jane" monologue. (stay tuned for that)
              and She killed it! (the teenagers said that means she did well)

After her talent, River had her moment in the spotlight again on the stage.
 It was all her. 
All I could do was watch from backstage with sweaty palms
hoping that she would remember to stop and smile at the judges. 

While most girls said they dreamed of world peace, the announcer said;
"River dreams of growing up to be a teacher so she can boss other kids around and eat at her desk."

Back stage, the excitement was building.
There was a lot of waiting - adding to the nerves...butterflies all around.
All of a sudden everyone wanted to be the one to win, or at least get Miss Congeniality.
Before they went out on stage for the last time,
Instructions were given to the girls on what to do if their name wasn't called.
But I gave River a wink and a smile cause she and I secretly knew she had this.
And then it was back on-stage for the moment of truth.

There she was, looking lovely and vulnerable. *deep breath*
drum roll.......

dramatic pauses........

holding our breath.......

The winners announced...
cheering, yelling, clapping,

flowers and tiaras given out.

Winners step forward, losers exit stage right.

As for my girl?

She got nothin.
She took it like a champ.
She didn't even cry...
On her own, River congratulated all her friends who had just won.
2.5 seconds after it was over...River was over it. No big deal.

Truthfully, It was ME that was left feeling the sting of not winning.

I felt like I had let my child down. I felt like a big failure.
I know it sounds silly, but I thought...If only I had picked a different dress,
If only I had helped her with her poise and walk more,
If only I had worked on her interview questions more,
If only I had her hair done up, darker makeup, better talent, bigger jewelry, taller shoes, teeth implants, botox, etc. (just kidding)
If only I had won Harvest Ball Queen back in High School. (me=loser)

Lots of family came to support River, and they left consoling me.
My brother Johnny texted me some good advice, and Brooke offered a better perspective.  (that last word left off  is "recognition- Abraham Lincoln")
My little brother Jared's reaction couldn't be published here.
 Something about "What the heck? lets burn the place down!"

Instead of doing that, we decided to just take River out to lunch.
Here she is telling Dean that she kind of has a crush on the kid that escorted her on stage. nice.

Right about here it occurred to me that I became way too involved in the whole winning thing.   
I was mad at myself and felt foolish for getting so wrapped up in it.
One minute River seemed unaffected by the loss, just happy as punch to be out with Dean and I. And then the next minute she asked "Do you think the judges just didn't like my crazy tooth?"
So we did what most girls do to make themselves feel better.
                                            Carb load!

Later that day, my little brother Johnny also texted me the following:
"Hil, we all know how great River is...
you don't need a judge to hand you a piece of paper telling you what you already know."
He was so right.
                                     So she may not be beauty queen material,

but yeah...she is pretty great. Crazy tooth and all.


The Aspirant said…
Oh, if only Lily could turn out as beautiful as your girls! I'm so proud of you both for putting in the time and effort and for teaching River to not be afraid to try. What a cool experience that so many never have. Lily is totally trying out for Little Miss Ft Benning!
River is number one in my eyes! About the teacher aspirations...I may be a bit bossy but I didn't sit behind my desk eating all day haha. I love River to death and miss seeing her everyday.
Cooper Urmston said…
Oh! She is definitely beauty queen material. Ya cant win em alllllll! She is beautiful. Your blog always make me cry. Tears for joy>

Nadene Roberts said…
Hilary--you always get it just right when you write on your blog. River did an amazing performance every time she was on stage. She is beautiful and so much fun. Thanks for sharing these moments. Mom R.

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