I don't brag much about my kids on this blog, because it's much more fun to complain about them. Conflict is the essence of story, right? In fact, I don't write much about them at all anymore. I'd like to say that it's because I'm respecting their privacy and their agency over their own stories, now that they're getting older, but the reality is, older kids are just less interesting than little ones. Or maybe it's that parenting concerns are less urgent—everything is not a crisis anymore. Whatever the reason, I'm breaking that rule, and the not-bragging rule as well, because….
M won a pageant last weekend!
Each year, his school holds a fundraising event, which is part talent show, part mock beauty contest, in which senior boys perform group dance numbers, walk the catwalk in leisure wear, and show off their talents before a panel of faculty and staff judges and a crowd of adoring parents and classmates.
You'd never peg me for a stage mom or a pageant mom. I'm not even a very good sports mom because, while I get excited when my kids' team in general and my kids in particular do well, I also feel a bit of anxiety about the other team and the other kids. Whenever there's a winner, there have to be losers, and that doesn't sit well with me. (I was the mom who used to tell my kids after soccer games, in lieu of the score, "As long as you did your best and had fun, you're a winner!") I felt that same anxiety about all the enthusiastic young men onstage Firday night. At least the event didn't require much pageant mom-ing. I wasn't backstage with the can of Aquanet or anything. All I had to do was sit in the audience, take lots of pictures, and cheer.
M's participation was part of a long-held dream. He'd attended the contest his freshman year and, when I picked him up afterward, declared his intention of winning the prize when he became a senior. He held onto his dream for the next three years and Friday night brought home the crown in a tight race with a group of boys who dislpyed a lot of great talent, good humor, and inspiring enthusiasm. It's an inspiring story of having a goal and achieving it, and I've refrained, mostly, from saying things like, "Imagine if you'd made up your mind to become valedictorian instead." M, for his part, isn't resting on his laurels, but has now set his sights on the next big dream: Prom King.