Today is day two of pageant Hell week and I’m tired, a bit frayed at the edges. I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better, but that’s ok. This is the culmination of a year’s worth of planning and work. The pageant committee has been planning since two weeks after last year’s pageant. The rehearsals started two months ago and the last one is tomorrow, and then the show. We have nearly twice the number of contestants as last year, but we can’t allow the show to be twice as long, so we made some adjustments. Not everyone liked them, but then, they don’t pay me based on popularity, though they certainly are trying.
There have been triumphs and tragedies, missed rehearsals, costume snafus, great moments and even a few tears here and there. The girls have had their ups, and a few downs and I hope they’ve learned a bit along the way. But whether they have or not, by this point forty eight hours from now, it will be all over, including the shouting (I hope.) It is a massive undertaking; especially for a gal who had never even seen a pageant until three years ago when we started this whole thing. Add a full complement of classes and the looming bugaboo that is end of quarter grading, and the stress load approaches the realm of riding a rollercoaster with the walking dead. Lucky for me, I am privileged to work with a great team and therefore will probably survive to pageant again next year.
But, you may ask, if it’s that much work and stress, why do it?
Because it is an opportunity to teach sportsmanship and teamwork. Because it demonstrates the value of a job well done, regardless of the reward, or lack thereof. Because it teaches them how to win – and how to lose – equally well. I’m not sure which is the more important lesson there, but I know that both are vital to a life well lived.
So many people think of pageants as frivolous, shallow endeavors that reward empty heads and hard hearts, but I don’t see that in my girls. I see young ladies of intellect, compassion and class. I see young women who will one day be leaders in their communities, and perhaps in their country. I see people of limitless potential, each and every one. So, when Thursday evening rolls around, I will watch these beautiful girls take the stage with a sigh of relief and great pride in my heart. Because they are my girls and they have done well.