I was a pretty shy little kid.
I'm telling the truth. My older brother, who I've mentioned before, was not shy. My husband is not. And it looks like neither of my children are either.
My mom likes to say my oldest daughter acts just like me as a child. I don't know about that. I do know last year when Catherine was tapped to be Dolly in the first grade Broadway show, I was all prepared to give her the ole pep talk. You know the "stage fright is only in your head," "everyone is rooting for you," "the audience really wants you to do well" talk.
Then she got out there, they hit her cue, and she lit up like a born performer. She sashayed across the stage, smiling and blowing kisses, twirling with the little boys, skipping. You could've knocked me over with a feather. I don't know what Mom's seeing, but that was not me.
First-grade me would have sped across the stage, chin stuck to chest, completely forgetting what the heck I was supposed to be doing up there, and why I was even there in the first place.
So I wasn't too surprised when Catherine came home a month ago saying she wanted to be in the Little Miss Strawberry pageant.
I did have to giggle when she asked if she would wear a little green hat and red outfit. "No," I explained. "You don't dress like a strawberry. It's for the strawberry festival."
Personally, I don't really care for pageants. I think they put too much emphasis on appearance.
I know, they're not all like that, but this one is. This one is 73 little second-grade girls walking out on the stage, and from there they go down to seven. From there to one Little Miss Strawberry. It's completely old-school, Miss America-Atlantic City, 100% appearance-based.
I'm a little conflicted about the whole thing. I wanted to stop her from doing it, but some of her friends are in it. And my mom always put me in pageants, shyness and all, and I don't think it hurt me.
Little me would look around at most of the other little girls there, and I understood we were different. They were the kids who must be on stage.
That's also why I've never thought anything negative about my friends who've done pageants and who really like them. It's not one of my things, but that doesn't mean it can't be someone else's. (Please note, I'm not talking about the crazy pageant-mom types. Those ladies need therapy.)
It's like me vs. my husband. Me = "Crap! Why is everyone looking at me?" Richard = "Crap! Why is everyone NOT looking at me?" Or me and my brother.
Did I mention my brother won "Master Bayou State" as a child? You should see the picture of him with his little crown and scepter. He's just beaming.
So it'll be interesting to see how this day plays out. I'll let you know,* and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
*UPDATE: She did not win LMS. Catherine was OK with it; Laura was not. Laura was mad Catherine didn't win and said she'd never be in a pageant. LOL!
I said to Catherine, "You know, Grammy used to put me in pageants, and I never really liked them."
Catherine: "Well, you weren't in a Broadway show."
Me: "That's true..."
(Thanks, Dolly, for bolstering the ole confidence! Onward and upward!)